This year’s hurricane season has been one of the worst on record, causing up to $200 billion in damage and claiming more than 100 lives (so far). Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria have influenced tons of industries — including beauty, with brands and influencers stepping up to mobilize their fans to do something to help. But the hurricanes, especially Maria, are directly affecting the aesthetics industry in another way: They’ve led to a national shortage of IV fluid, which is needed for any cosmetic procedure that requires general anesthesia — from face-lifts to breast augmentation to liposuction.
Here’s what happened: When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last month and devastated the island, the storm also severely impacted facilities there, such as Baxter International, where critical medical supplies, including IV fluid, are produced, CBS News and others reported. As a result of the manufacturing disruptions, suppliers are reporting a deficit in fluid that’s driving up prices. “It’s sort of like an Uber surge pricing for IV fluids,” explains Darren Smith, a plastic surgeon based in New York City.