Lifesaving medical supply shortages persist amid supply chain disruptions 

The supply chain crisis has caused persistent shortages of basic medical supplies, such as IV tubing and catheters, leading systems to stockpile materials, Forbes reported May 3.

Owens & Minor, a healthcare logistics firm, said 45 percent of the items it handles, such as syringes and blood-collection tubes, are in some way supply-constrained. Another large supplier, Medline, opened five new distribution centers with two more slated for completion this year to attempt to keep up with demand. 

While some shortages are directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, others are due to global affairs, such as the lockdowns in China. Jeff Jochims, chief operating officer of Owens & Minor, told Forbes fill rates for essential items are currently in the "high 80s," when they used to have fill rates of 96 percent to 98 percent. 

"It used to be that hospitals would deal with 50 to 100 back-ordered items per day," Mr. Jochims said. "There are many institutions that now are dealing with 800 to 1,000 back orders per day."

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