Intermountain Healthcare asks Utahans to donate used medical supplies as global supply chain issues cause critical shortages

October 27, 2021 – Yet another sign of the ongoing supply chain issues affecting the world – Intermountain Healthcare, Univ. of Utah Health, Steward Health Care, and the Utah Hospital Association are organizing a community drive to collect gently used medical supplies.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disruptions to the global supply chain is impacting the ability of hospitals to receive crutches and walkers due to an international shortage of aluminum,” Intermountain said in a press release.

“I’ve never seen a shortage of crutches this significant, and normally it’s an afterthought because they’re always so readily available,” said Joey Kamerath, MD, senior medical director of rehabilitation services at Intermountain Healthcare.

Intermountain said the shortage is happening at a difficult time for hospitals because November and December are the busiest time of year for elective surgeries, especially in orthopedics, which often require walk assist devices for recovery.

Once collected, caregivers will sanitize and inspect the devises for safety before being sent to hospitals for use. They will then be given to patients with a note letting them know it was generously donated by someone in the community. All devices that can’t be repaired will be properly recycled.

The donation drive, LeanOnUtah, begins October 30 at several locations around the state. Collections will also occur on November 6 and 13 at the same locations and times.

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