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“People Are Going To Start Dying” – Puerto Rico’s Battered Hospitals On Verge Of Failure

Tyler Durden
September 25th, 2017
Zero Hedge
Comments (43)
Read by 2,865 people

This report was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge.com

hospitals

A week after then-category 4 Hurricane Maria made landfall in densely populated eastern Puerto Rico, electricity remains offline across most of the island, while supplies of staples like gas, food and water are dwindling. Shelters on the island are reportedly running low on food, and the government managers of the emergency response effort are scrambling to evacuate 70,000 people from a river valley that’s in danger of being completely submerged after a nearby dam failed.

And now, Reuters is reporting that hospitals across the island are struggling to continue providing medical services to patients after the storm left many of them flooded, strewn with rubble or relying on diesel-powered generators that will soon run out of fuel. For some, the only option is to evacuate to the United States for treatment.

Among these patients is a baby with a heart defect who had the misfortune of being born just before Maria hit.

“Among them is Cheira Ruiz and her baby girl Gabriellyz, who was born two weeks ago with a serious heart defect. The newborn was admitted to the Centro Cardiovascular de Puerto Rico in the capital shortly before Maria slammed into the island last Wednesday, but it was impossible for doctors to operate in such precarious conditions.”

Gabriellyz was among the first infants cleared to take a medical flight out of Puerto Rico since the storm. Her parents, who live two hours south of the capital, found out the good news Friday when emergency officials knocked on their door in the town of Guanica and told them to pack for the trip to Miami. With phone service out, the doctors had called one of the island’s radio stations, which broadcast their plea for help in locating the couple.

Hours before the flight was scheduled to depart, the parents learned there was only room for one of them. Mother and baby would fly alone to Miami.

“I’m trying to be strong,” Ruiz said on Saturday.”

Across the island, the scene is nightmarish as motorists and pedestrians line up for blocks waiting to purchase scare resources like fuel to power the generators. Cellular service, internet, and email have vanished, and radio has become a primary source of information. In what sounds like a plot detail from the Mad Max movies, fuel is in such short supply on the island that deliveries to hospitals are made by armed guards to fend off looters. Hospitals trying to transfer critical patients are being turned down by other facilities, simply because there is no room, or they can’t afford to purchase fuel.

For hospitals across this region, the challenges are mounting. After the power went out, back-up generators at some hospitals failed quickly. Other hospitals are running critically low on diesel. Fuel is so precious that deliveries are made by armed guards to prevent looting, according to Dr. Ivan Gonzalez Cancel, a cardiovascular surgeon and director of the heart transplant program at Centro Cardiovascular.

“Another hospital wants to transfer two critical patients here because they don’t have electricity,” Gonzalez Cancel said. “We can’t take them. We have the same problem.”

Another problem is that nurses and doctors are running low on gasoline for their daily commutes to work. Puerto Ricans are waiting as long as seven hours at the island’s few functioning filling stations. Marilyn Rivera Morales, a nurse at a hospital cardiovascular center run by Dr. Ivan Gonzalez Cancel who spoke with Reuters, said she had enough gas left to drive to the hospital for two more days.

“How will they keep coming here if they don’t have gas?” Gonzalez Cancel wondered.

Gonzalez’s cardiovascular center was “in shambles,” he told ReutersRunning without air conditioning, the walls of the operating room were dripping with condensation and floors were slippery. Most patients had been discharged or evacuated to other facilities, but some patients remained because their families could not be reached by phone. On the sidewalk outside the cardiac center on Saturday, Jorge Rivera and his wife Dorca approached Gonzalez Cancel to ask about the woman’s father, a patient still inside waiting for triple-bypass surgery. The couple are residents of Savannah, Georgia who were in Puerto Rico to care for their loved one.

The Doctor responded with what we imagine was unwelcome news: They’d have better luck if they took Dorca’s father elsewhere.

With the hospital scaling down operations and the island’s infrastructure on its knees, Gonzalez Cancel estimated he would not perform another open heart surgery for a month or more. His advice to the couple: leave.

“I am talking to you, not as a physician, I am talking to you as a human being,” he said. “Get him on a plane. You can be in Miami in two and a half hours.”

But of course, even leaving the island is a process fraught with difficulty.

With the island’s main airport still crippled, Gonzalez Cancel said he needed to secure a special waiver from authorities to obtain the medical evacuation flight for baby Gabriellyz. Travelers at the airport on Sunday were told that passengers who do not already have tickets may not be able to secure flights out until October 4.

With the situation on the island set to get worse before it gets better, some – Hillary Clinton among them – are calling on President Donald Trump to send the navy to Puerto Rico to help with the recovery effort. The devastation caused by Maria is similar to that wrought by hurricanes Katrina, Harvey and Irma, Reuters noted. But Puerto Rico’s remoteness and fragile infrastructure have made the logistics of organizing a disaster response very challenging.

Dr. Gonzalez Cancel also said the island needs the military to help with its recovery effort.

“We need a massive military response,” surgeon Gonzalez Cancel said. Because if more help doesn’t arrive soon, “people are going to start dying.”

Waiting for news about his father-in-law, Rivera, the Georgia resident and a 49-year-old Iraq War veteran, said the U.S. military could only do so much. He forecast the island would take months to get back on its feet.

“You need God pretty much to fix every light bulb,” he said.

Dr. Juan Carlos Sotomonte, the medical director of the Centro Medico‘s cardiovascular unit, said intervention – divine or otherwise – is needed fast.

“If this is not taken care of, people are going to start dying,” he said.

Making matters worse, the difficulties facing Puerto Rico’s hospitals may just be the calm before the storm. As supplies continue to dwindle and the island’s strapped finances hinder the recovery effort, the precarious situation facing Puerto Rico’s hospitals will probably worsen before it gets better.

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Author: Tyler Durden
Views: Read by 2,865 people
Date: September 25th, 2017
Website: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-25/people-are-going-start-dying-puerto-ricos-battered-hospitals-verge-failure

Copyright Information: This content has been contributed to SHTFplan by a third-party or has been republished with permission from the author. Please contact the author directly for republishing information.

43 Comments...

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  1. GrandpaSpeaks says:

    So remind me of the advantages of US dependency. Our allies await the answer.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Things will descend into chaos and unrest.

  3. Houston/Cypress/Katy/Shtf says:

    Just for Argument sake. Who knows, all my information may just be Bullshit. But then again. Lets look at a few things and some hard ass facts.

    Oh certainly. They used HAARP to take out that island, 49 states left and more to come. Hawaii will be next, in fact, that’s why they planned to take guns in Hawaii. You see the American states that are not connected the mainland America is easier to violate the constitution, kill who they want, wipe out who they want, and easily cut off all communication from that area to then bring in the Military, put in the new NWO system. You see the 10,000 marines that are here who are busy abducting people all over the Beaumont area, forcing them and taking them at gun point according to Hodges sources, had to back off. Once they announced the curfue, and saw the reaction, the curfue was immediately lifted. Texas is not Puerto Rica, this state is much more dangerous place to come and screw with its citizens. The cabal who attacked Texas with Weather warfare weapons was dumbstruck, seeing whites helping blacks, and rescuing blacks, and mexicans. Not to mention the black all glad to see a real President, Trump, who they were glad to see, and took selfies with him. They learned a few things. While stupid dumb fucks like Anthony weiner who works for them is busy taking picture of his dick and texting to women, stupid dumb ass idiot, and this idiot feels that he should be mayor. They learned that the state of Texas, that we had unity, and the fact that all my friends are white, Mexican, black, and even some Chinese, not chi-coms. Coupled with the fact, and now based on the NSA data mining on Texas. They now know for a fact, that when chi-coms soldiers enter from Northern Colorado, with the UN, and from Mexico, that a unified population of blacks, whites and Hispanics and other nationalities, who are smart enough to know that they wont be exempt from the attacking soldiers that enter the cities and will put putting bullets in those solider asses on site if they ever fucking come here with that style take over. But then again, who would listen to this Hicks guy, for we know I don’t know shit and nothing I ever said has happened, and when you look at Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida, one cannot argue with people like me telling me horse about don’t know what I am talking about. What I do know that if SHTF COMMENSES, I know for certain what I will do.

    HCKS.

    They call me Hicks. Yes, its the same guy.

  4. Jim in Va. says:

    There he goes again……..

  5. Concerned-Citizen! says:

    So where is the clown-ass, do nothing US Gov’t? WTF is going on? It is so painfully clear that the Federal Gov’t is NOT at all able to handle a true larger scale emergency!! Wake up folks…it is a very serious issue and concern. If you need help, well, you are on your own my friends. So much for the 40%+ we are forced to pay to be taken care of.

  6. Frank Thoughts says:

    Cuba is the only country in the Carribean that invested in disaster relief at scale and in rescue and medical services. All the other countries are pathetic and shambolic nations sucking on the teet of international aid. Haiti, of course, is the worst of the bunch.

    The Caribbean should be taken over as a protectorate run by Europe and Canada. The Carib Beans have never been very good at organization and will never get good at it.

    • Kevin2 says:

      “The Carib Beans have never been very good at organization and will never get good at it.”

      I’ve been to Jamaica several times. Its my belief that governments in that part of the world are extremely corrupt. Yes I believe while Cuba is authoritarian its relief capability is far above its island neighbors.

      • Frank Thoughts says:

        I agree: I have been to all the islands and Cuba is the only one with a functioning and effective government. They may be authoritarian and harsh on gays, but they can plan, organize and execute actions: something none of the island states can do.

        The other states are either naked money launderers for international business, or scams set up to hoover up charity donations and international aid, usually to benefit politicians back in the US.

  7. Old Guy says:

    And I simply don’t care one little bit. Let the helpless parasites perish. You aint seen nothing yet. As this shifting of the earths magnetic poles increases these type disasters will increase in both magnitude and frequency.

  8. Ted Kennedy says:

    Knew PR would be asking for help. Price of rum will probably go up.

  9. the blame-e says:

    It will take years, possibly decades before Puerto Rico is habitable again.

    Evacuate Puerto Rico, clean up all the debris, get the island nice and clean, start from scratch rebuilding with a modern infrastructure. Put in just enough hotels and the houses to make the place work. Make sure the houses are with thick stone walls like the pirates use to do. Landscape the place with plenty of jungle vegetation, replant the island top to bottom, and then leave.

    Except for the corrupt and criminal professional politicians who got the island all ready for Hurricane Maria by bankrupting the place just before the storm arrived.

    Take the professional politicians down to the beach at low tide, bury them up to their necks in sand like Black Beard use to do, and let the high tide do its thing.

    Let only holiday travelers and support staff back onto the island. The natives had their chance — and blew it.

  10. Houston/Cypress/Katy/Shtf says:

    DMONIC, your a complete dumb ass. Puerto Rico is a state, owned by the US, trades in US dollars, and I just talked to one of my Puerto Rican customers, and he said that all the people in that country are US citizens. you don’t know jack shit. So just shut the fuck and piss off you TOTAL COMPLETE FUCKING IDIOT. Puerto Rico is and American State, 100%. Jim in the VA, are you a Doctor in the VA or a patient, which is it. You also claim to be a mason. Your not a real mason. All the reals masons, the 32 degrees, since I a good friends with one, and know the secrets. Real masons would not come on here and attack my facts. Mr sum ting wong ” we take Texas anytime we want” is that right. Go on ahead, bring the fuck chi-coms, pull your soldiers here into my city, deploy and get your asses shredded. You mouth is big because you have not met me in person. When I punch you inside your fucking mouth and bust you lip open, you eyes may end up 3/4’s closed.

    HCKS.

    • Redrum says:

      Puerto Rico is NOT a State. Period. It is a Commonwealth of the U.S. Because of this, it does not have many of the same rights as States. Yes, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and they do trade in Dollars, but it is NOT a State.

    • Old Guy says:

      Hicks you haven’t any facts. Scientist friend isn’t any reliable source.

    • Jim in Va. says:

      Hicks; you know nothing about Masons let alone anything else. Va. is for Virginia. Puerto Rico is not a state but a territory. True, they are US citizens who may or may not wish to become a state. 32nd degree doesn’t make you anymore or less of a Mason….ask any mason they will tell you that…..they should know that. Get your facts straight.

    • the blame-e says:

      Hicks: If the inability to read, write, or use the English Language correctly is yet another sign of insanity then boy do you have it good. “Your” is NOT “you’re.” What you are struggling for is “you are.”

      And the rest of you. I get it if you don’t like the idea of bi-lingual, or multi-lingual, and even trans-lingual. But please, please, at least be proficient in “mono-lingual.”

      Support the English Language. Your native tongue.

    • DMONIC says:

      Yep, there you have it. HICKS is a COMPLETE idiot. Bwahahahaha! I suppose hes good for entertainment though!

      And thanks for not trying to back up ANY of your claims. Shows the fraud that you are.

  11. Plan twice, prep once says:

    The government of Puerto Rico is bankrupt, their electric company is bankrupt.

    Everything is destroyed, the US gov could hand them a check for a hundred million, but they don’t have a bank that could process it and make payments. Everything is broken, these days money is electronic and PR doesn’t have phones Internet or power.

    It also doesn’t help that Florida was ravaged because that’s where ships come from that provide much of Puerto Rico’s imported goods. What little PR produced for itself, has stopped. All that infrastructure was destroyed.

    Puerto Rico is a classic example of what you get in an EOTWAWKI event. Over the next few months it will produce valuable lessons for the prepping community. Keep the articles coming.

    • rellik says:

      One lesson I learned right away is to not
      allow Democrats in your society.
      Kill them all before they destroy you.
      In PR it will be easy, just don’t help them.

      • Old Guy says:

        Long ago I learned there isn’t any difference between a Democrat parasite and a Republican taker. The problem is too many parasite takers and too few producing makers. Until that situation is addressed and reversed the decline will continue.

  12. Captn. Jack says:

    First off I’d like to say that while in the Navy I spent some time in PR and I found the locals to be ok,that is, except for the insane drivers and there was a good bit of stealing going on.Lots of bars on doors and windows also cars chained to cement “dead men” half buried to make sure they didn’t disappear during the night.I heard on the TV that over one hundred thousand people were to be brought to the US mainland from PR.If that is true then it’s up to the government to remove the same amount of illegals from the US to make room for real US citizens coming from PR.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, the past week, Trump hasn’t done one thing to help these desperate suffering people in PR and is pre-occupied with trivial bs. Not a word. Zero action.

    They can’t wait, they need help NOW. But no sense of urgency on Trump’s part. Starving people put on hold. But he’ll spring into action when and if he thinks it will affect his ratings, so at least there’s that. Oh wait, that’s right… almost forgot he hates anyone of Hispanic origin, like Cubans, South Americans, Mexicans and yes, Puerto Ricans too.

    He even said so on the air, many times, on Howard Stern’s show back in the 90’s.

    Like any native NYer with a moral compass I can tell you the only people Trump likes are educated wealthy WASPY Whites and educated wealthy Jews. That’s it. (PS: unless they are very overweight than he won’t like them even if they are white and rich.)

    • Talon says:

      C’mon. Cut Trump some slack. He’s been tweeting his little fingers off about the NFL football players so he’s really busy right now chest thumping for his base. The election is only 3 years from now. The Prez has to have priorities you know. He only panders to his voter base and those who can or might help him get re-elected. Why should he care about all of the Americans in Puerto Rico if they can’t boost his current ratings or help him re-elected.

  14. Old Guy says:

    My wife states there will soon come a time when good folks will fear sundown. Its during the night that nocturnal varmits go in search of prey. Every day across the board things get worse and its happening world wide. My advice prep like your life depends on it because it does.

  15. Houston/Cypress/Katy/Shtf says:

    I never said that the 10,000 marines rounded up people, but marines did round up a few hundred people and they have been taken away, and they are still missing, and those 10,000 marines are still in our city. You know what I am going to do one of these days to meet Mac in person, After Mac meets with me since he live in the Wood Lands from what I think he said, I am not certain. But when I meet Mac, and tell him what I really know, then things are going to change around here. I am seriously considering it. You people on here attacking are trolls. my scientist friend did get F16’s run a mock bomb attack attack on his house and the air force did show up at his door threatening him right here is Texas. You can call bullshit all you want because other witness did see the 16’s go down over the area. I have seen people show on this site asking me the name and location of the scientist so that they can verify and let you all know if he is real. You see he turned down working for the cabal, that’s why the threats continue. When they approach you asking you to join them, that they need you work off world with a team on another planet in another solar system, and you turn that down, you know things and your going to get tabs put on your ass. And I am willing let Mac meet him in person. Mac I will let you know, because I have to handle this meeting in stealth a certain way. I will contact you indirectly. Mac, most of the guys posting on this site does not know what’s going on, and I feel that I owe you one to let you know the real detail. The information that I have to tell you is so over the top, and I will make sure that I bring him with me to let you meet him.

    Regards

    HCKS.

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