The Coronavirus is changing the world, and it's interrupting the way people get their medical supplies. There have been several reports from people with spinal cord injuries and spinal contusions saying they’re having trouble ordering their usual medical supplies. Some of the most difficult supplies to procure are gloves and disinfectants, usually alcohol prep-pads. These items are in high demand at hospitals and clinics. Some people are having their borders delayed, while others cannot even submit an order.
It is a scary time for many. There are still avenues you can take however to get the medical supplies you need. It may take longer, and it may cost more, but there are a handful of ways people are having success finding their supplies. Here are some of these methods.
One of the first places people are searching for medical supplies is eBay. The go-to site for nearly every search, eBay will have gloves and other medical supplies that you are likely looking for, but the only problem is that the price may be out of your budget. Since this is an auction site, prices for in-demand items such as medical supplies are currently 2-5x more.
While this is not necessarily the fairest way to go about getting medical supplies, it is an option. There are auctions that let you “Buy” the item directly and bypass the auction. Search for these if you would rather avoid having to outbid strangers.
Medical suppliers are slowly replenishing supplies throughout the country, and this includes medical supplies you can order on sites like Amazon. Many people have reported success in finding medical supplies as of late. The order may be delayed by several weeks, but it will be fulfilled. This is the opposite of what was happening in early March when medical supply orders were being canceled. If you do not have any luck on Amazon, try other big-box sites like Target and Wal-Mart. Smaller businesses like pharmacies are a good place to look as well.
Friends with Paralysis
Chances are you've made a few friends are also paralyzed since your injury. If you feel comfortable, ask them if they have any of the supplies you need and are willing to borrow you some. While some of your friends, despite their love for you, may decline, there is likely at least one who would be willing to help you out.
If these friends are local, even better, then you can pick-up supplies. Shipping costs can be expensive. Also, contact your home health care agency if you have one to see if they have any supplies on hand or if they have any clients that may be able to help you out.
Facebook SCI Groups
There are dozens of spinal cord injury groups on Facebook with thousands of members with paralysis. Join some of these groups and put a call out for help. There are many helpful people across the country who will likely want to help you. Maybe they can't send you much, but anything helps when you are lacking supplies.
Reddit.com is a user-driven community that has several spinal cord injury and disability-related groups with thousands of intelligent and helpful members. Many of these people are also paralyzed. Asking in these groups is also worth a shot. Many people who use Reddit do not use Facebook.
Put Out a Call on Your Social Media
Join Twitter, Instagram, and even the start of the blog. All of these will help you expand your reach and let the world know you are in need of help. Make sure to use your hashtags wisely. Some hashtags you'll want to use are #gloves, #spinalcordinjury, #medicalsupplies #seekinghelp, and #wheelchairlife.
Last but not least, get a prescription for medical supplies if you don't have one already. This will allow you to order them from the medical supply companies that do not sell supplies to the general public. We wish you luck in your search.
Written by Vincent DolanA the Director of Public Affairs at SpinalCord.com Vincent has had the opportunity to speak with thousands of individuals (and families) during every step of the recovery process. Vincent has combined his legal and marketing expertise to create the single largest resource for those impacted by a spinal cord or other catastrophic injury. While gathering and sharing these resources Vincent also spends time answering the SpinalCord.com hotline which allows him to better understand what families are going through. Vincent is actively involved in supporting various non profits within the SCI community, and is always open to helping in whatever way he can. Vincent also works with our sponsors Swope, Rodante P.A. to ensure families have every opportunity to obtain the resources which improve the quality of life for individuals after a spinal cord injury.
See what Swope, Rodante Has Done for Others With Catastrophic Injuries
“What made me most excited was to be able to help my family, being able to pull the burden out of them that they’ve been struggling with. That’s what made me feel the best. Everything else to come, is to come. And we’re going to live life how we have been, just not going to have to worry about buying the supplies that I need.”
"As I got better, which I did in the future, I think I remember researching them [Swope, Rodante P.A.] myself and found that they are very good at what they do. "