January 6, 2017
A Shopper’s Guide on Medical Supplies
Shopping for home medical supplies has never been a trend, but it should be. The demand for health insurance, on the other hand, has increased tremendously in the last two decades. Medical supplies and health insurance serve differently. While the latter cover all, if not most, hospitalization and medication costs, the former helps in treating small wounds to living with a permanent disability.
When you shop for a health insurance, agents will guide you which provisions to choose, at what costs and how to claim later on. When shopping for home medical supplies, you are on your own, although your doctor may advise. To guide you in shopping, below are the things you need to know about medical supplies.
Durable versus Disposable
Medical supplies are classified into two categories – durable medical equipment and disposable medical supplies. As the name suggests, durable medical equipment covers products intended for long-term use. On the other hand, disposable medical supplies are often just for one time use.
Durable medical equipment (DME) is intended to serve individuals with disability (both temporary and permanent) and/or chronic condition. The most well-known among different DMEs is the wheelchair. Walkers and canes are other types of DMEs designed for mobility, just like wheelchairs.
- For the deaf, there’s the hearing aid.
- For people with respiratory problems, there are ventilators, nebulizers and oxygen.
Expensive medical supplies include artificial arms or limbs (prostheses) that are often tailor-made to the user as well as high-tech wheelchairs. Therapeutic footwear, blankets and pressure mattresses are among the less well-known types of DME.
Disposable medical supplies, on the other hand, are usually tossed away after one use to avoid contamination. These cover incontinence supplies, such as diapers, disposable undergarments and catheters. Dressings, bandages, swab sticks, cotton balls and sterile gauges are also under disposable medical supplies.
Though not typically used at home, it is worth noting that surgical gloves, caps and gowns worn by doctors for operations are also tagged as disposable.
Other disposable medical supplies Chandler are thrown away because they can no longer serve their original purpose. Pregnancy test kits and blood sugar test strips are examples of these. Sanitizers, creams, ointments, disinfectants and gels are classified as disposable as well.