Global supply chain crisis creating shortage of wheelchairs and medications

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The effects of the global supply-chain crisis continue to touch lives locally in some way or another.

Whether it's cars or TVs or everyday items.

Now ABC11 has learned the strain is harder for some families who are unable to find medication and wheelchairs.

"We're pulling from every direction to try and find something," said Terry Rigsbee, manager of the Medical Supply Super Store in Durham. "People need this."

Terry has about a dozen wheelchairs in his store but usually has more than 30. He said it's also been hard to find crutches, hospital-type beds and lifts.

He said specially-made wheelchairs used to take three weeks to come and now he's heard four months.

The shortage of aluminum has caused a lot of the issues at the store in Durham and across the country, where some hospitals have started asking for donations of items such as crutches.

"It is really hard," Rigsbee said. "A lot of my distributors are telling me the first of the year, maybe into January or February. Maybe it will loosen but right now, it's like finding hen's teeth."

Central Pharmacy in Durham said it has had issues finding the flu shot. They found it but had to search around and pay more.

On Wednesday, it noticed there's a shortage of ciprofloxacin, which is used for different bacterial infections.

"Some common things people use it for are UTIs or things like pneumonia," said Chadarryl Silguero-Clay, a pharmacist, who said that luckily, they haven't seen too many of these prescriptions filled.

With flu season beginning, the pharmacy said it has to prepare for all kinds of infections.

"These things are unpredictable," Silguero-Clay said. "So not knowing if something will be available tomorrow can be a bit concerning in the healthcare world because there's a lot going on besides COVID. It is flu season, COVID is still prevalent."

Pharmacists suggest talking to them to see what can be worked out.

Also, talk to your doctor about any alternative medications.
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