[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Viewpoint
July 2018

The Shortage of Normal Saline in the Wake of Hurricane Maria

Author Affiliations
  • 1Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL), Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • 3Clinician Scientist Training Program, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(7):885-886. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.1936

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. In the wake of this devastating storm, more than 1000 people died and tens of thousands were displaced from their homes.1 In early 2018, one-third of Puerto Rico remained without electricity. Before the hurricane crippled infrastructure and created a humanitarian crisis, 33% of Puerto Rico’s gross domestic product came from its pharmaceutical sector, with approximately 50 firms producing medications and 40 making medical devices.2 The multifaceted response by both the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and hospital systems to the ongoing national shortage of normal saline makes clear how a storm hitting 1000 miles off Florida’s coast can affect public health across the United States.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words
    ×