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Chronically Ill Americans Struggle to Access Critical Medical Supplies

Global shortages of medical supplies are jeopardizing the wellbeing of people living with chronic illnesses, according to The Washington Post.

Critical supply shortages: Increased demand in hospitals overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients along with supply chain delays and disruptions have caused the shortage of some critical medical supplies.

The impact: “It is hard to know precisely how many people with chronic illnesses or disabilities living on their own, rather than in group settings, might be affected by pandemic-caused supply shortages, but estimates are in the tens of millions.”

The challenge: Many chronically ill people are trying their best to avoid going to the hospital out of fear of contracting COVID-19. This presents difficulties because hospitals can provide easier access to crucial supplies, including tubing, IV kits, nutrition supplements and drugs such as heparin, a commonly used blood thinner.

Homecare difficulties: During the pandemic, there has been extensive medical equipment shortages. While hospitals tend to have substitute equipment available, people who manage their care at home face lengthy struggles to get insurance to cover alternative supplies.

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