Nationwide Medical Supply Shortage Impacts Healthcare Facilities

Medical supplies and devices are among the wide variety of products affected by the nationwide supply shortage. The deficit, largely attributed to disruptions from COVID-19, has impacted everything from the production of cars to breakfast cereal to disposable medical masks.

In addition to personal protective equipment, Reuters says healthcare facilities are lacking a variety of items, including exam tables, heart defibrillators, crutches and IV poles.

Computer chips, which are in high demand across various industries, are in particularly scare supply. This presents a major challenge for medical device companies, which are often prioritized below other larger entities with more buying power, such as technology and automobile companies. 

ResMed, a San Diego-based company that produces CPAP machines, is just one example of a medical-device manufacturer that has been stalled by the chip shortage. “Medical devices are getting starved here,” said ResMed chief executive Michael Farrell in an interview with The New York Times. “Do we need one more cellphone? One more electric car? One more cloud-connected refrigerator? Or do we need one more ventilator that gives the gift of breath to somebody?”

For more information, this list of medical device shortages published by the FDA provides further details on gaps in equipment availability. We will continue to monitor the latest news related to medical supply shortages as it emerges, including how it may be impacting New York facilities. For all COVID-19-related developments, please visit MLMIC’s dedicated resources page.