Where to donate medical supplies

Medical supplies, Microsoft.com

Think about it. Millions of people are in need of medical supplies that are not readily available to them. Some simply cannot afford the cost. Other individuals simply have no access to them because of their geographical locations or a lack of supplies in that area.

Medical supplies can be donated easily to assist with this matter. The donations can come from citizens or health care facilities. There are a lot of places to donate medical supplies that otherwise may be thrown in the trash.

What Types of Supplies to Donate

Most Americans are very fortunate to have access to health care and the medical supplies most people get are paid for by insurance companies. Once your medical issues have subsided, you may have some leftover supplies that you would like to get rid of. You can donate supplies such as bandages, braces, colostomy supplies and adult diapers, or you can donate durable medical equipment, such as a tub bench or bedside commode. Hospitals and medical facilities can even donate larger pieces of equipment that may go to waste after an upgrade.

Donate Within Your Community

There are many organisations that would be willing to take unused medical supplies within any city or town. Free health clinics rely on donations like this to treat patients who cannot afford health care. Hospitals and home health companies often keep closets that are stocked with expensive items such as colostomy supplies, unused adult diapers, wound-care products, tube-feeding products and many more. These donations are used by health care professionals to provide supplies to people who are indigent and cannot afford to purchase them on their own.

Donating Around the World

On February 21, 2005, The Hudson Valley Business Journal reported "St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital donated £16,250 of surplus medical equipment and supplies to the International Medical Relief Foundation." Medical equipment that is considered outdated when new technology comes along is sometimes donated to organisations like these. Supplies that have been upgraded also are donated to local or international charities. The Hudson Valley Business Journal also reported that "medical equipment considered outdated in the United States is often state of the art in underdeveloped countries."

Organizations that Serve Larger Populations

The January 22, 2008, edition of Medical Technology & Devices Week describes the efforts of Medshare International (based in Decatur, Georgia), "which collects surplus medical materials and distributes them to places where they are desperately needed." According to the Medshare.org website, the Medshare organisation will ship directly to the applicants overseas or supply medical missions that need assistance.

Expert Insight

Social workers often utilise organisations such as those listed previously to get help for indigent patients. These resources truly make a difference in people's lives. So, if you are tempted to throw out some unused supplies, take a moment instead to call some of the area charities or health care organisations to see if you can make a donation. Who knows, your small act of kindness may make a difference in someone's life.