Local Health Care Systems Struggle With Shortages Of Drugs, Supp - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |


Local Health Care Systems Struggle With Shortages Of Drugs, Supplies Made In Puerto Rico

Posted: Updated:
TULSA, Oklahoma -

It's been over a month since Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, causing the longest blackout in American History.

As most of the island remains in the dark, hospitals are scrambling because the storm shut down production at factories that make critical drugs and medical supplies.

Tuesday, the American Hospital Association sent a letter to the FDA, urging quick action on the worsening IV shortages.

For now, health care systems here in Tulsa, like Hillcrest, are adapting to provide quality care.

Scott Hughes says small-volume intravenous fluids IVs are a critical piece of health care.

"We use these every day on practically every patient,” said Hughes. “Almost anyone that comes in is going to need either an antibiotic or electrolyte."

But the primary provider for Hillcrest, Baxter, is still running on limited production after Hurricane Maria damaged the manufacturing sites in Puerto Rico September.

"We had to change the whole process and then educate 2,000 with a real short period of time to make a drastic change,” said Hughes.

Hughes says nurses changed the way they deliver a lot of antibiotics.

Hillcrest isn't the only hospital impacted here in Tulsa. OSU Medical Center says it was prepared for a possible lag in production and the staff has made changes to their normal workflow.

"Right now, we're just trying to get whatever we can from whichever company can produce it," Hughes stated.  

Baxter couldn't comment on when full production will resume at its hurricane-ravaged factories.

“We've had this sort of rolling drug shortage issue over the course of the last five years,” said Hughes. “We've kind of learned to adapt.”

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.