Medical equipment is going fast as COVID cases rise

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – As COVID cases rise, so does the demand for medical supplies.

Nationwide, the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread rapidly. And with that spread comes a greater need for medical supplies.

One product in high demand these days is Oxygen.

“We’re good now. Once, it’s gone, we’re just waiting like everybody else,” Leigh Walker said.

Leigh Walker, Director of Sales Marketing for OxyCare, said they are seeing a greater need for their equipment.

“So the doctor’s offices will call us and say we’ve got a COVID patient here and their sats are dropping below 88, which is pretty detrimental. Um, we will go to the doctor’s office if needed or the patient can come here and wait in their car. We’ll suit up in our PPE, go meet them outside, show them everything they need to do,” Walker said.

The medical equipment doctors are prescribing to patients after they are released from the hospital all help balance oxygen levels.

Respiratory Therapist Kimberly Roberson said it’s important patients watch their levels.

“You need that to keep your oxygen level up. Like a lot of the COVID patients, that’s the number one thing, their oxygen levels is not staying up. So, we’re teaching them or educate them on how to actually use that all day long if they need to, continuous, or overnight,” Roberson said.

Walker said more COVID cases mean more uncertainty in the market.

“Supply and demand is the biggest issue we’re running into. Yes, we are fine. Can I tell you if I get another 150 cases this week that we’re not going to be at this location? I don’t know. Once we’re out, I don’t know how difficult it’s going be getting something. Right now, it’s difficult,” Walker added.

In addition to the local cases, shipping from international suppliers is slowing down. That means supply shortages could come sooner than expected.

“The transportation issues alone and getting the supplies is an issue. It may have a whole crate sitting in China, ocean, that we can’t get our hands on that’s prevalent to get here to help a patient in need. Something that we used to get 30 of in a month were cut down to maybe 4 to 5,” Walker said.

If you are having trouble breathing and test positive for COVID, please call 911.

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