How to Shop For Medical Supplies: Buying Guide
In some cases, a basic first aid kit just isn't going to cut it. Each household has different needs from their neighbors, especially when it comes to health care. One person's medicine cabinet may look radically different from another's. In which case, you'll want to know what medical supplies are best for your home.
Medical supplies, simply put, are any type of supplies you use for your healthcare needs. This can range from first aid kits and over-the-counter medication to more complicated items like a CPAP machine or necessary items for diabetes care. If you're in a household with advanced day-to-day health care needs, then you may need slightly more complicated medical supplies than usual. However, it's always a good idea to keep a basic medical supply shelf well-stocked in your home so that you are prepared for any small emergencies or everyday needs.
At Sam's Club, we're pleased to offer our members a wide variety of high-quality brands of medical supplies, whether you need diabetes care, scales, first aid materials, or gloves, masks, and gowns.
What Different Types of Medical Supplies Are There?
There are different types of medical supplies for many different at home health care needs. You should talk to your doctor about what medical supplies you should keep in your home for yourself and your loved ones. They could include:
- Diabetes care: Supplies for diabetes care include test strips, testing kits, lancing devices, and Glucerna dietary shakes and supplements.
- Wound care: For any and all surface wounds, you should consider having bandages, adhesive bandages, medical tape, and gauze in your home. These items are helpful for any sprains you may encounter in your household, or if you need to make a basic finger splint for pinky or thumb injuries. You should also add antibiotic ointment to this part of your medical supply list.
- Personal protective equipment: In some cases, it can be helpful to have medical supplies like gloves, face masks or respirators, and even gowns in your home. Having these items on hand can help contribute to safety and infection control during minor in-home emergencies. You should check for any allergies in your home and maybe purchase latex free gloves.
- Blood pressure monitors: Small, wearable blood pressure monitors are available at many Sam's Club locations.
- Thermometers: An essential item on any in-home medical supply list is a thermometer to measure the severity of fevers. Consider adding one to your medicine cabinet.
- Scales: A scale is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight as recommended by your doctor.
What Medical Supplies Do I Need?
The types of medical supplies you should keep in your home depends very much on the needs of your household. If you're living in a single family home, then you most likely are already up to date on everyone's needs. You may already know what type of medical supplies you'll need to keep on hand. However, if you're living with a mixed family unit or with roommates, then consider having a house meeting to discuss what medical supplies are needed for your home. Check in with your family physician to get medical advice on what supplies you should stock.
For example, if you live with people with diabetes, then you may need to keep diabetic care supplies in the home. These can include lancing devices, testing strips, or any supplements or nutritional additions. If someone in your household needs to monitor their blood pressure regularly, then you may need a portable blood pressure device. Some people have allergies to different materials, and so knowing what type of bandages to buy is also important. Not everyone can use adhesive bandages and so may need fabric bandages or liquid bandages instead.
Some basic medical supplies will need to be in every home. These may include scales, bandages, and latex gloves, among others. You can find a complete list of available medical supplies for your home at your local Sam's Club.
What to Consider When Buying Medical Supplies
Much like when you purchase over-the-counter medication or home health aids, you should be intentional in your medical supply purchases. For example, you should consider:
- Family needs: What specific and basic healthcare needs does your household have? Plan to keep supplies stocked for small emergencies as well as day-to-day care.
- What you already have in stock: Before buying more of a medical item, check that you don't already have it at home. Sometimes having too many of something will result in waste.
- Buying items in a kit: Buying a first aid kit or a diabetes care kit can cut on costs and keep everything together in one easy package.
- Price: Ensure you're staying in your budget with Sam's Club members-only prices. If you're worried about cost, you can always check ingredients between generic and name brands. Generally, generic brands are cheaper by an impactful margin.
- Expiration dates: Expired medical supplies may not work well or cause allergic reactions. Check your expiration dates and replace anything that's expired in your supply list.
What Brands of Medical Supplies Does Sam's Club Sell?
Sam's Club is pleased to offer a variety of high-quality medical supply brands, including:
- Nature Made
- Member's Mark
FAQ - Medical Supplies
How much are medical supplies?
The cost of medical supplies varies greatly depending on the type. They can be anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.
What medical supplies do I need?
The needs of each household or family will vary greatly when it comes to medical supplies. Consider having a house meeting to discuss what you should keep on hand for health care needs, or talk with your family physician about the best items for your home.
How often should I replace my medical supplies?
Expiration dates vary from product to product, so be sure to check your medicine cabinet and supplies regularly to ensure everything is up to date. Remember that expired medical supplies may be a health risk, and so you should replace any expired supplies on your shelf.
Does Medicare cover medical supplies?
Medicare coverage varies based on your policy and needs. Check your Medicare insurance to see what medical supplies your policy covers.
Where to buy medical supplies?
You can buy a wide variety of high-quality medical supplies at your local Sam's Club location.
What to do with unused medical supplies?
If you have a surplus of unused, unopened, up-to-date medical supplies, you can most likely donate them at your local hospital or donation center. Many programs across the country will take new spare consumable supplies, gently used durable medical equipment and fully functional biomedical devices.