Shortage of walkers, crutches impacting Utah: Here’s how to help

Coronavirus Updates

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Shortages on various supplies have been reported in recent weeks – everything from food to chips for cars to toys to alcohol. The latest shortage is now prompting Utah hospitals to come together for a donation drive.

Utahns are urged to check their closets, attics, garages, and anywhere else they may be storing metal crutches and other walk-assist equipment as some of the state’s hospitals face the danger of running out.

A release from Intermountain Healthcare, University of Utah Health, Steward Health, and the Utah Hospital Association says an aluminum shortage is causing unprecedented low levels at medical facilities worldwide. The need for crutches and walkers is expected to spike in November and December – the busiest time of year for orthopedic surgeries.

LeanOnUtah, a statewide donation drive organized by Utah’s health systems aims to combat that need. The goal is to collect metal crutches, walkers, canes, and non-motorized wheelchairs to ensure patients have the equipment they need.

All donated devices will be inspected for safety, sanitized, and sent to hospitals that need them.

Doctors are coming together Monday for a 10:30 press conference to discuss the shortage and how it impacts care, as well as where Utahns can drop of their used medical equipment. ABC4 will stream the press conference in the video player above.

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