Humans have a tendency to take things for granted until they experience a shortage or interruption in supply. Who thinks about the electrical grid until their lights won't turn on? Or about the water flowing from the faucet until it comes out discolored, or not at all? This common pattern of thinking extends to our daily practice as anesthesiologists as well. Do you often think about how the endotracheal tube made its way into the anesthesia cart from the manufacturer? Who made the decision to buy this particular brand, in this amount, and in these particular sizes? Did it just magically appear here?

Although materials shortages are rarely on our mind until a crisis presents itself, it seems that every day there are seismic disruptions in national supply chains that can easily trickle down and affect daily anesthetic care. In late February 2023, for example, Akorn Operating Co. – one...

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