Power expected to be restored to Puerto Rico by March

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"When you are doing a push IV, the nurse has to stand there at the patient's bedside for 15 to 30 minutes". Good said it takes her about five minutes to administer the medication.

Right now hospitals across the nation and here in West Texas a shortage of IV fluids.

Ricardo Rossello on Friday slammed the federal government's response to Hurricane Maria, saying residents of the island, who are USA citizens, are being treated like "second-class citizens". "If we can't support patients coming in emergency rooms who have the flu, more people are going to die", Deborah Pasko director of medication safety and quality for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, told the Associated Press.

"I think we'll see the majority".

The FDA says the shortage will likely improve over the next few weeks, but that "the production situation in Puerto Rico remains fragile".

However, irregular power outages are still slowing Baxter's efforts to get back to full production. "With IV fluids I can't ever remember a time when we've had this critical nationwide shortage that we've had to do these conservation measures", said Pendelton.

Fortunately, that's not the case at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in New London, according to chief medical officer Dr. Oliver Mayorga.

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That's impacting hospitals thousands of miles away. Other are having them trickle in. And Baxter International was given the OK to temporarily import sterile fluids from 6 overseas factories.

Baxter says it's been shipping those to US hospitals since October, but hospital officials say that hasn't been enough.

In the Danbury area, hospitals have felt a disruption in their supply of IV bags, but have so far been able to push through, said Andrea Rynn, a representative of the Western Connecticut Health Network, which includes Danbury and New Milford hospitals.

Shortages are also hitting surgery centers, cancer clinics that infuse chemotherapy, dialysis centers and companies that provide regular infusions to home-bound patients.

"It's just never been this bad before".

He says historically, they give 1,500 IV bags a day, and that's not including basic replacement fluid for patients. To date, he said the state's career-services agencies have helped more than 7,600 Puerto Ricans find jobs.

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