Puerto Rico hurricane impact hits home


Puerto Rico’s September hurricane is affecting Mercy Health hospitals to this day.

Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico’s power grid and took out four Baxter manufacturing plants. All four plants were shut down and were Baxter’s major production source for the United States intravenous (IV) solutions especially small volume IV solutions and premixed medications, Barry Shick, chief pharmacy officer for Mercy Health, said.

Currently, the Puerto Rico plants are at about 70 percent capacity. Production is limited by the availability of electrical power and operation of the power grid. Reportedly, product supply will gradually improve to be near normal in the first quarter or second quarter of this year.

Mercy Health operates St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown and St. Joseph Health Center in Warren.

The Vindicator is checking with other hospitals to see if they are also affected.

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