The impact of COVID-19 could have a long-lasting impact on wound care and its attendant supply chain considerations.

One signpost along the way recently came from Gentell, which told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News at press time that the company is pulling its manufacturing out of China.

“The sad reality is that most wound care dressings are manufactured in China,” said David Navazio, Gentell’s owner. He noted that he’s already seeing supply chain disruptions as factories are switching from manufacturing wound care products to more profitable personal protective equipment. Air and boat space for the transportation of supplies have tripled in price. 

“We expect that there will be major shortages in wound care and all healthcare products in the coming months,” Navazio added. This has prompted the company to bring all manufacturing of its products back to the United States over the next three years, he said.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 global pandemic has exponentially complicated managing chronic wounds.

Clinicians in the Burns and Trauma journal recently stated that COVID-19 makes the management of chronic wounds more difficult, even as clinicians debunk any theories that wounds provide a portal for coronavirus.

Wound care supply chains are in flux.

Fabian McCarthy, CEO of DermaRite Industries LLC, said his company is seeing increased demand for hand sanitizers, soaps and cleaning products to help prevent and reduce contamination. Heightened concerns about pressure ulcers and COVID-19 has also stimulated interest in protein supplements. 

Thankfully, DermaRite didn’t miss a beat in filling orders, McCarthy said. And it now enjoys a stronger relationship with its partners. 

“As a result of the pandemic and the disruption it caused, our internal teams and those outside of our organization really stepped up to work together and troubleshoot issues that would arise daily to maintain production, shipping, and delivery of goods,” McCarthy said.

Working to ramp up production in a very short amount of time to meet increased demand from customers also led to developing new sources of raw materials, he added.