Preparing for the flu season: Medline boosts respiratory product inventory
By Medline Newsroom Staff | September 22, 2022
A high number of influenza cases in Australia may signal a tough flu season ahead for the U.S. and North America.
Between June and September, Australia reported a rapid rise in influenza A along with a spike in COVID-19 infections. An early, high number of winter flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere is a likely predictor of a challenging flu and respiratory season in the Northern Hemisphere. During the last two years, flu cases slowed in the U.S. most likely due to COVID-19 precautions.
Based on the data collected from public health officials in Australia, healthcare providers should prepare for what could be a difficult flu season in the U.S.
James Donegan, RRT
Medline Clinical Resource Manager
“Based on the data collected from public health officials in Australia, healthcare providers should prepare for what could be a difficult flu season in the U.S.,” said James Donegan, a respiratory therapist and Medline clinical resource manager. He said the situation may evolve into a “twindemic”—high flu rates exacerbated by or in tandem with rising COVID-19 cases — as Americans continue to return to work, school and travel without masks.
Ensuring optimal care for respiratory patients
To prepare for a possible influx of respiratory illness, healthcare providers should encourage COVID-19 and flu vaccinations while also ensuring an adequate inventory of products required to effectively treat “patients in respiratory distress,” said Donegan. These include oxygen delivery, medication delivery, ventilation products and pulse oximeters.
“These are all critical in the care and treatment of patients with pulmonary complications caused by the flu and COVID-19,” said Donegan.
Medline has increased its inventory of respiratory products
In anticipation of high demand, Medline has secured additional supply of its broad portfolio of respiratory products, said Scott Harrison, director of product management for Medline’s Respiratory Division. The inventory boost is part of the company’s recent, additional $500 million investment in medical supply inventory to ensure product availability and timely delivery, and enhance the resiliency of the healthcare supply chain. Today, Medline has more than $4 billion in medical supply inventory.
A new flu and COVID-19 resource page
A new Medline COVID-19 and flu resource page highlights essential and available respiratory products and solutions to ensure optimal care this winter and beyond. Last year, Medline acquired a significant portion of the Hudson RCI® brand of respiratory products, which were integrated into Medline’s respiratory portfolio. Many of Medline’s respiratory products are manufactured in North America.
Among the products most in demand during a heavy cold and flu season are small volume nebulizers and metered dose inhalers for respiratory medication delivery. For pediatric patients, often hit hardest during the cold and flu season, Medline is the sole distributor of the Philips’ OptiChamber Diamond Spacer “which comes with the most comfortable mask interface there is to deliver respiratory medication for children,” said Donegan.
“We are prepared to meet the needs of our partners during what may be a challenging flu and COVID-19 season.”
Director of Product Management, Medline Respiratory Division
The Medline Hudson RCI AquaPak Bubble Pre-Filled Humidifiers and Nebulizers also are popular as they “support oxygen therapy patients, which we typically see a higher level of during flu season,” said Donegan. Demand for Comfort Flo High-Flow Nasal Cannulas oxygen delivery systems, used to treat respiratory patients, continues to increase due to ongoing and successful use in COVID-19 patients.
“Medline has a robust portfolio of world-class respiratory solutions designed to empower best practices and deliver uncompromising quality and performance required to care for the complex needs of patients,” said Harrison. “We are prepared to meet the needs of our partners during what may be a challenging flu and COVID-19 season.”
Learn more about how Medline is transforming respiratory care.
Medline Newsroom Staff
Medline Newsroom Staff
Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.