Amid power outages, hospitals pushed to their limits in Puerto Rico – Los Angeles Times

In the emergency room lobby at the Puerto Rico Medical Center, the island’s largest public hospital, more than a dozen patients — one with a broken leg, others with arms in slings or other wounds — were lined up on stretchers and in wheelchairs in the stifling heat.

A generator hummed in the background, but that was powering the air conditioning for patients already being treated.

“We have to conserve,” said Dr. Charlie Gomez, who had been working 12-hour shifts. “It’s a very tough situation and it might get worse.”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the healthcare system here is being pushed to its limits, even as medical teams from the U.S. mainland have been arriving. Many of the 69 hospitals across the island remained closed as of Tuesday. The Medical Center was one of only 11 with fuel or power.


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