Hospitals seek crutches donations amid nationwide shortage

Hospitals are asking people to donate crutches amid a nationwide shortage spurred by a lack of aluminum. 

Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia said Oct. 11 that its vendors are unable to fill orders for crutches, leaving it with limited supplies, WCHS, a Charleston, W.V.-based ABC/Fox affiliate, reported. The hospital posted on its Facebook page asking anyone who may have crutches at home that aren't in use to consider donating them.

DASCO Home Medical Equipment, the hospital's main supplier, told WCHS that the main cause of the crutches shortage is a lack of aluminum. 

"If anything the pandemic has taught us, it's to plan ahead, and we're seeing a shortage of aluminum products due to decreased production in China," Jeremy Adkins, an employee of DASCO, told WCHS. "Therefore, we're kind of looking at our inventory and planning ahead and making sure that we're looking at all products affected by the aluminum shortage as well as crutches."

He added that a global shortage of aluminum is affecting all medical equipment companies and medical facilities. 

Southeast Georgia Health System, based in Brunswick, is also asking its community to donate crutches, The Brunswick News reported Oct. 7. 

"If you have a pair of new or gently used adult regular or universal crutches, we ask that you consider donating them to the health system," Kyle Culbertson, supply chain services manager at the health system, told the publication.  

He said the system is hoping to collect 50 pairs of crutches to get through the next four weeks and, "hopefully," through the shortage. 

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