Amid Shortage, Utah Hospitals Call for Public Donation of Crutches, Walkers and Canes | News, Sports, Jobs

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Utah hospitals are asking the public for donations of crutches and other mobility equipment due to shortages in the supply chain for these items.

Utah hospitals are in critical need of aluminum crutches, canes, walkers and non-motorized wheelchairs, and authorities are turning to the public for help.

Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Healthcare, Utah Hospital Association, and Steward Health Care have started the LeanOnUtah Donation Campaign to collect lightly used equipment that may be in Utahns closets, garages or attics.

Over the next three Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., items can be dropped off at multiple locations statewide.

“We desperately need your canes, walkers, wheelchairs and crutches to provide patients with the care they need,” said Dr. Joey Kamerath, Senior Medical Director of Rehabilitation at Intermountain Healthcare. “Here at Intermountain, we use 1,800 pairs of crutches every month, but unfortunately our supply chain has completely dried up on this equipment. “

Part of the problem, Kamerath said, is the global aluminum shortage, but what makes it even more complex is the fact that raw materials and manufacturing are also in short supply and it is not known when this will happen. equipment will be available. While hospitals are not yet completely short of equipment, officials say they want to get ahead of the situation before it becomes a crisis.

“I’ve never seen such a big shortage of crutches, and normally that’s an afterthought as they are always so readily available,” Kamerath said. “My biggest worry now is that someone will have a broken leg or a stroke and we won’t be able to send them home with the walking aid they need. “

Dr Darrel Brodke, chair of the orthopedics department at U of U Health, said this time of year is always busy with orthopedic surgeries due to skiing accidents and other sports-related activities. .

“Surgery for the hip, knee, ankle or broken leg is really the first step in healing,” he said. “The next period is to allow the body to heal, which often requires not reducing your entire body weight. Thus, the uses of crutches, canes, wheelchairs, and walkers all play a key role in maintaining excessive force to descend on the limb, but also allow them to be upright, mobile, and to move around. They play a huge role in the healing process of the patient.

Martha Gamble, chief nurse at Jordan Valley Medical Center, said the shortage is affecting hospitals across the country. Utah, she said, is by far the most generous state and she is confident that the state will lead the nation in this charitable cause. She suggested that volunteer youth organizations, high school students, community members and church groups could be a great asset in collecting the equipment.

Once collected, caregivers will disinfect and inspect the devices for safety before sending them to hospitals for use. They will then be given to patients with a note informing them that it was generously donated by a member of the community. All devices that cannot be repaired will be properly recycled. Wooden canes cannot be accepted as they cannot be properly disinfected.

“I have been so impressed with the community spirit in this state and I hope our friends and neighbors can come together to solve this unique health care need,” said Brodke. “In the next few days, we will have surgical patients or emergency department patients with broken legs who will be able to come out without crutches unless we can come up with creative solutions like this community campaign.”

For more information, visit leanonutah.com. Volunteers are also encouraged to help sort and sanitize donated items. To register, go to justserve.org.


Donation dates and times

Donations can be made on the following dates between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.:

  • Saturday October 30
  • Saturday 6 November
  • Saturday 13 November

Donation locations

Logan Regional Hospital

500 E. 1400 North, Logan

Home care Intermountain Ogden

3776 Wall Ave., South Ogden

Intermountain Medical Center

5169 S. Cottonwood Street, Murray

Utah Valley Hospital

1034 N. 500 West, Provo

St. George Regional Hospital

1380 E. Medical Center Drive, St. George

Davis Hospital

1600 W. Antelope Drive, Layton

West Jordan Valley

3460 S. 1400 West, West Valley City

Jordan Valley Medical Center

3580 W. 9000 South, South of Jordan,

Mountain Point Medical Center

3000 Triumph Boulevard, Lehi

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