Shortage of intubation drugs threatens Brazil health sector

RIO DE JANEIRO — Reports are emerging of Brazilian health workers forced to intubate patients without the aid of sedatives, after weeks of warnings that hospitals and state governments are running out of critical medicines.

One doctor in Rio de Janeiro told the Associated Press on Thursday that since its stock of sedatives ran out, nurses and doctors have been using neuromuscular blockers and tying patients to their beds.

The doctor says some patients try “to resist” and are “conscious.”

Lack of required medicines is the latest pandemic problem to visit Brazil, which is experiencing a brutal COVID-19 outbreak that has flooded the nation’s intensive care units.

Its daily death count is averaging at about three-thousand, accounting for a quarter of deaths globally and making Brazil the epicenter of the pandemic.

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