The Crisis at Puerto Rico’s Hospitals

[ Originally published on this site as post ]

Puerto Rico is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and as often occurs with natural disasters, people in need of immediate medical care are among the most vulnerable.

Maria knocked out much of the island’s power, affecting hospitals that rely on electricity to keep patients alive. According to a FEMA update from Tuesday morning, 58 of the island’s 69 hospitals lack power and fuel. In some areas, electricity is not expected to be restored for months.

The generators and diesel fuel that hospitals are using in the meantime are stretched thin and in short supply. Reuters reported that, at one hospital, fuel is being delivered by armed guards to prevent looting. Without power and running