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‘Desperate’ Utah hospitals appeal for donation of used crutches and wheelchairs as the USA faces massive supply chain chaos

Intermountain Healthcare asked people in Utah to check their closets, attics and garages for used metal crutches and other walk-assist equipment for donation

While the United States of America remains worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the economic superpower is facing a massive shortage of various products due to supply chain issues. The problem has become so big that one healthcare provider in the US has asked the citizens to donate used wheelchairs, crutches etc.

Intermountain Healthcare, a healthcare system in Intermountain West that provides services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, has issued an appeal to people in Utah recently where it asked people to check their closets, attics and garages for used metal crutches and other walk-assist equipment.

Reportedly, hospitals in Utah are facing critical shortages of aluminium crutches, canes, walkers and nonmotorized wheelchairs, forcing the hospitals to seek donations of used items from the public. Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Healthcare, the Utah Hospital Association and Steward Health Care have launched a donation drive called LeanOnUtah, seeking donations of used but working equipment that may be sitting idle in closets, garages or attics in the houses.

“We are in desperate need of your canes, walkers, wheelchairs and crutches in order to provide patients with the care they need,” said Dr. Joey Kamerath, senior medical director for rehabilitation at Intermountain Healthcare.

According to doctors, the crisis is not limited to Utah, but all the states are facing the same at various scales. And the worst part is that nobody knows when the supply of such essential items will return normal.

Conservative TV host Tucker Carlson strongly criticised the Biden administration over the shortage. He said on Thursday that in 2019, USA had donated crutches and wheelchairs to enemy nation Venezuela, but now the country itself is facing massive and dangerous shortage of everything.

The shortage of walking aides is partly caused by the global shortage of aluminium, and along with that raw and fabrication materials are also in shortage. But that is only part of the problem because USA is facing a supply chain crisis across the board, resulting in a shortage of a range of products, not just healthcare equipment.

Reportedly, shelves in stores in the USA are turning empty as everything from food to toys are in short supply. Medical labs are running out of supplies like pipettes and petri dishes, and restaurants are facing trouble sourcing food. Automobile, paint and electronics firms are curtailing production due to the global semiconductor shortage. Burger King in Florida even had to stop selling French Fries as they had run out of potatoes. Americans not getting French Fries at a fast-food store is no small matter.

The supply chain issues that started with the Covid-19 pandemic last year has not been resolved yet, and the USA is facing long delays in the arrival of products from manufacturing countries in Asia.

There are several reasons behind the shortage of products in the USA. In most countries in the world, lockdowns imposed due to the pandemic have been lifted, which has resulted in a spike in the demand for goods. But the production and supply chains disrupted during the lockdown are yet to bounce back, resulting in shortages. Disruption in the supply of one product leads to disruption in the production of every other product that uses it as input. For example, the global semiconductor shortage has affected everything that uses chips, from cars to electronics devices. The shortage of truck drivers in various countries has also resulted in disruptions in the supply of products.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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