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A new Covid-19 problem: Shortages of medicines needed for placing patients on ventilators

On top of the overwhelming shortages of medical equipment required to combat Covid-19, there are now signs that medicines needed for patients who are placed on ventilators are also in short supply.

The medicines include more than a dozen sedatives, anesthetics, painkillers, and muscle relaxants, and the shortages raise the possibility that it could become more difficult for health care providers to place these patients on ventilators. This is because the drugs are used to help manage patient pain and comfort levels so they can benefit from mechanical ventilation.

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