It’s no longer just masks and gloves that are in short supply at U.S. hospitals, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Delta variant that has engulfed the nation. Healthcare facilities are now lacking from everything from heart defibrillators to IV poles, says a medical equipment distributor.
It can now take up to five months to get some types of exam tables, for instance, compared to three to six weeks before the pandemic, according to CME Corp, a distributor of medical equipment that handles over 2 million products.
“Right now, because of the supply chain stress that’s being caused by COVID, almost everything is delayed,” said Cindy Juhas, CME’s chief strategy officer. “A lot of the stuff we sell is not sitting in a warehouse where you just call and say send it over. It needs to be built.”
But shortages of raw materials, including plastics, metals, glass, and electronics, have hampered production.
In the case of exam tables, tight supplies of electronic controllers, metal, and even the foam padding used to build them are hampering producers, Juhas said.
Read the full story at Reuters.