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Davis Journal

Hospitals experience critically low supply of medical devices

Nov 04, 2021 12:14PM ● By Becky Ginos
LAYTON—Many industries have been hit hard by supply chain shortages but now it’s impacting healthcare. A global aluminum shortage has caused a critically low supply of walking devices made of metal. To fill that need hospitals have come together to organize the LeanOnUtah campaign to reach out to the community asking residents to donate gently used devices.

“We’re in desperate need of crutches, walkers and canes to help our patients in need,” said Dr. Joey Kamerath, Senior Medical Director for Rehabilitation Services at Intermountain Healthcare. “We go through 1,800 pairs of crutches every single month. Unfortunately our supply chain has run completely dry for this equipment.”

Shipping is not the problem, he said. “It’s obtaining the raw material for the fabrication stage. We don’t know where we’re going to get this material next.”

People in the community will continue to suffer from strokes and children will continue to be involved in motor vehicle accidents, said Kamerath. “Members of the community will have sports related injuries or require other surgeries. They all need this equipment to aid in their recovery. We can’t get this equipment through our supply chain which is why we’re reaching out to the community.”

Unique to this area is a very strong work ethic and a commitment to service and reaching out to their fellowmen, he said. “This is the time for us to step up and help support this LeanOnUtah campaign.”

“We’re incredibly excited to participate in this,” said Martha Gamble, RN Chief Nursing Officer Steward Health Care’s Jordan Valley West Medical Center. “We’ve been navigating this unprecedented time for the last couple of years. This is another way where we can continue to show up for our community. Now we’re coming to our community and saying ‘show up for us, show up for your neighbors.’”

“I was on the phone with leaders of rehab at Primary Children’s,” Kamerath said. “Fortunately they have all the equipment they need but it’s very low. What a tragedy it would be if our healthcare providers didn’t have equipment for a child.”

The LeanOnUtah donation drive will take place on Nov. 6 and Nov. 13 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Devices can be dropped off at Davis Hospital and Medical Center, 1600 W. Antelope Drive in Layton.  

“The good news is this is your opportunity to declutter and find this equipment,” Gamble said. “Dropping them off at these facilities gives us the opportunity to clean them, inspect them, repair them and get them ready to give back right into our communities.”