Medical Supplies

From acute post-surgery care to ongoing diabetic maintenance, your hospital or provider may offer medical supplies for at-home use. 

You can count on PromiseCare to provide you with whatever you need, whether you need ongoing care for a lifelong condition or injury or immediate care after surgery.

The term “medical supplies” refers to all drugs, pharmaceuticals, products, substances, items or devices whose purchase, possession, maintenance, administration, prescription or security requires the authorization or order of a licensed health care provider, or which may require a permit, registration, certification or other governmental authorization held by a licensed healthcare provider.

Durable Medical Equipment

Medications and supplies prescribed by a health care provider for regular use or prolonged use are durable medical equipment. Durable medical equipment (DME) is equipment that helps you do your daily activities. The equipment includes walkers, wheelchairs, and oxygen tanks. DME is usually covered by Medicare.

Diabetic Supplies

Measuring Blood Glucose Levels

Blood glucose can be measured in two ways:


A glucometer, a traditional fingerstick testing device, is the first option.

You will insert a test strip into the meter after washing your hands thoroughly. 

You will then clean a fingertip with an alcohol swab and use a lancing device to prick your finger to produce a drop of blood. 

After touching the test strip to the blood, the meter will provide a blood glucose reading.

Your glucose readings will be recorded by most monitors, along with your averages. 

Tracking your readings can also be done with a record book or app. 

You should select a device that has a voice function and a large font option if you have vision concerns.

You and your health team can get a picture of how your care plan is working and make changes if necessary by monitoring these levels over time.

Glucose Monitoring Device (CGM)

Another option is to use a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM). 

With this portable electronic device, you can continuously track the level of blood sugar in your arm or belly using a sensor. 

CGMs are ideal for people who want to check their glucose levels several times throughout the day. 

Both people with type 1 diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes who use insulin fall into this category.

Managing Glucose Levels

Accurately monitoring your glucose levels can help you avoid complications from diabetes.

Find out how often you should test your blood sugar by talking to your doctor. 

Your level of control will depend on the type of diabetes you have and how manageable it is.

Try To Keep Notes

Make a record of your daily results and details, such as what you ate, how much you exercised, and how much you slept. 

Additionally, you should note any medications you take as well as any changes to your daily routine. 

Make sure you pay attention to how your body reacts to all of these factors and make adjustments if necessary. 

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions.

Signs of low blood sugar levels include feeling:

  • confused
  • hungry
  • lightheaded
  • nervous
  • shaky
  • sleepy
  • sweaty

Insulin Level Management

Because your pancreas no longer produces insulin, you will need to take insulin if you have type 1 diabetes. 

When you have type 2 diabetes, you may be able to manage your condition with diet and exercise alone, but you may also need medication such as Metformin. 

Insulin may also be necessary in some cases.

Your doctor can help you decide what method of insulin therapy is right for you. 

It’s important that you learn how to administer insulin. 

When you’re just getting started, your healthcare provider can offer you instructions, tips, and advice. 

They will also tell you how often you will need to administer insulin.

For safe needle disposal, you’ll need a clearly marked sharps container if you use a syringe or insulin pen.

Insulin Syringe

Syringes are the least expensive way to inject insulin. You can buy needles and syringes without a prescription in certain areas.

Insulin Pen

There are two types of insulin pens:

  • Disposable pens contain prefilled cartridges. 
    • You throw away the entire pen once you finish the cartridge.
  • Reusable pens contain an insulin cartridge that you replace once it’s empty.

Insulin Jet Injector

IPSUMNeedle-free insulin injectors spray insulin through your skin using pressure instead of needles. The device consists of an injector, a disposable nozzle, and a disposable insulin vial adapter.

Insulin Pump

An insulin pump is a device that is worn on the body. The infusion site is connected to a catheter that is placed under your skin with a needle. You have greater control over your blood sugar levels when you use the device, which delivers regular doses of insulin. 

Each time you eat, you will need to give yourself a dose of insulin. If you use an insulin pump, always carry spare batteries and syringes or insulin pens in case of malfunction. You should carry spare infusion sets all the time.

Measuring Ketone Levels

To manage your condition and prevent serious complications of diabetes, you may need to measure your ketone levels.

Ketone Test Strips

In order to measure ketones in urine or blood, you’ll need ketone at-home testing supplies, which are available both online and in pharmacies. 

Perform a urine test by urinating into a clean container and placing the test strip into the liquid.

Ketone Meter

Ketone levels are also measured by some blood sugar meters. 

Still, you’ll need to purchase a ketone test strip separately. 

Put a drop of blood on the testing strip after pricking your finger.

Consult your doctor if you have high ketone levels, especially if it is a common occurrence.

The following are signs of high ketone levels:

  • a dry mouth
  • a fruity odor to your breath
  • blood sugar levels greater than 240 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
  • confusion
  • difficulty breathing
  • feeling sick
  • flushed skin
  • frequent urination
  • nausea
  • thirst
  • tiredness
  • vomiting

Basic Skincare Supplies

Keep up with your basic skincare routine, such as applying lotion and drinking water regularly to stay hydrated, since diabetes can affect your skin. 

Other tips to consider include:

  • Always keep your skin clean and dry.
  • Avoid putting moisturizer between your toes because this can promote fungal growth.
  • During cold, dry weather, bathe less frequently and use a humidifier in your home.
  • To keep your skin from over-drying, avoid hot showers and baths.
  • Use moisturizing soaps, mild shampoo, and skin moisturizer.

Cuts and wounds should be treated as soon as possible if you have diabetes. 

Clean the affected area with soap and water, then apply a doctor-approved antibiotic cream or ointment. 

Cover the wound with sterile gauze and cloth bandages.

Foot Care Supplies

Regularly checking your feet is also a good way to monitor their overall condition since diabetes can sometimes cause foot complications, including ulcers and nerve damage.

  • Consider wearing socks that are moisture-wicking, seamless, and padded.
  • Try not to walk barefoot outside.
  • Use a magnifying lens to check your feet for sores, cuts, or corns.
  • Use a mirror to look at the bottom of your feet and in between toes.
  • Use toenail scissors and a nail file to maintain your nails.
  • Wear well-fitting broad, flat shoes.

Food Supply

To maintain your blood glucose levels, keep glucose or simple carbohydrates in places such as your car, work station, and bedside table.

The following items should be included:

  • apple or orange juice
  • dried fruit
  • glucose tablets or gels
  • nuts and seeds
  • regular soda
  • trail mix
  • whole-grain crackers

Additional Supplies

If you have diabetes, you can wear an alert necklace or bracelet. 

It can provide information to paramedics or doctors if you are unable to communicate and require medical treatment. 

Information about your insulin use, allergies, and emergency contacts may be included in this identification.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Supplies

A CPAP machine consists of three major parts: a motor, a CPAP hose, and a CPAP mask.

Depending on your pressure setting, the motor brings in air from the room to pressurize it. 

The air is room temperature, and some machines have a water tank to moisturize it. 

Additionally, the motor includes a CPAP filter to remove impurities from the air. In general, CPAP machines run quietly, so they won’t disturb your sleep.

From the motor, pressurized air travels through the connected CPAP hose to the mask. 

The mask, which fits snugly on your face, delivers pressurized air continuously into your lungs and airways to prevent collapse and obstruction.

Here is a list and explanation of the CPAP supplies and other CPAP machine parts used to treat obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Air Filter

The CPAP filter is important for purifying the air entering your nose from outside the machine. 

There are several types of air filters available. 

Some are disposable, while others are reusable. 

They vary in the size of the particles they filter. 

A CPAP filter can be chosen based on the type of machine you have and the lifestyle you lead, such as having pets in the house that may add to the dust and allergens in the air.


A CPAP hose is used to connect a CPAP machine to a mask. 

CPAP hoses come in a range of lengths to fit your sleeping style or bedroom arrangement. 

CPAP hoses may be heated or insulated to reduce condensation buildup.


A humidifier is an optional part of a CPAP machine that increases the humidity of the air delivered through the mask. 

CPAP users often complain of dry mouth and dry nose after using their machines. 

CPAP humidifiers reduce this problem – especially in cold, dry areas with low humidity. 

Some humidifiers can be adjusted by increasing the temperature of the water tank.


CPAP masks come in a variety of styles. 

A nasal CPAP mask covers only the nose, an oral CPAP mask covers only the mouth, and a nasal-oral mask covers both the nose and mouth. 

Masks that are attached to oral appliances are also available.

Chin Straps

CPAP treatments use chin straps to keep the mouth closed. 

If you breathe in and out of your mouth while sleeping, this CPAP machine part may prove helpful to you.

Wound Supplies

Types of Wounds

The first step in wound treatment is determining the type of wound. 

Your doctor will prescribe the right kind of treatment if he or she knows what kind of wound you have. 

Wounds are divided into eight categories.

  • Arterial / Ischemic Ulcers
  • Atypical Wounds
  • Burns
  • Diabetic / Neuropathic Ulcers
  • Fungating / Malignant Wounds
  • Pressure Ulcers (Also known as bedsores, read our guide to bedsores to learn more.)
  • Surgical Wounds
  • Venous Stasis Ulcers

The Right Supplies For Wound Care

You need the right kind of dressing for your wound so that you can heal quickly and prevent infections.

  • Collagen Wound Dressings
    • Absorbent and maintains a moist healing environment
    • Good for wounds with minimal to heavy secretion
    • Can be used for surgical wounds
  • Composite Dressings
    • Moldable and easy to apply and remove
    • Good for wounds with minimal to heavy secretion
    • Can be used for pressure ulcers and surgical wounds
  • Contact Layer
    • Can be used as a liner for deep wounds 
    • Also used to protect wounds from direct contact with dressing
    • Can be used with many types of dressings
  • Foam Dressings
    • Can be cut to fit specific body parts
    • Good for wounds with minimal to heavy secretion
    • Can be used for pressure ulcers, surgical wounds, and minor burns
  • Hydrocolloid Dressings
    • Available in paste, powder, gel or sheet/wafer forms
    • Water-resistant
    • Can be used for pressure ulcers
  • Hydrofiber Dressings
    • Removes bacteria
    • Forms a cohesive gel activated by fluid levels
    • Can be used for pressure ulcers, surgical wounds, second-degree burns
  • Hydrogel Sheet and Amorphous
    • Cooling sensation reduces pain
    • For minimal secretion
    • Can be used for pressure ulcers, and minor burns
  • Impregnated Gauze
    • Gauze saturated with a water-based product
    • Rehydrates the wound bed
    • Can be used for pressure ulcers and minor burns
  • Non-Impregnated Gauze
    • Can be made of cotton, polyester or rayon
    • Used for cleansing and packing wounds
    • Can cover a variety of wounds
    • Non-impregnated gauze example
  • Transparent Film Dressings
    • Impermeable to liquids, water, and bacteria
    • Allows oxygen in
    • Can be used for pressure ulcers and second-degree burns
  • Alginate Dressing
    • Made from seaweed
    • Partially dissolves to form a gel
    • Can be used for pressure ulcers, surgical wounds, and burns

Ostomy Supplies

The ostomy pouching system is a prosthetic medical device for collecting waste from a surgically diverted biological system and creating a stoma. 

In most cases, pouching systems are associated with colostomies, ileostomies, and urethromies. 

Colostomy Supplies

An abdominal wall opening known as a colostomy is made during surgery. 

A colonoscopy is needed when the colon is not functioning properly or when a disease affects a portion of the colon and it needs to be removed. 

Stomas are formed by bringing the end of the colon (large intestine) through this opening in the skin. 

A colostomy may only be needed for a short period of time (temporary), such as 3 to 6 months. 

When a part of the colon needs time to heal from a disease or problem, a temporary colostomy may be necessary. 

A colostomy may be required for the rest of a person’s life if a person has a serious disease, like cancer.

The location of the colostomy stoma on the abdomen is determined by which part of the colon is affected. 

The size and location of colostomies vary; some are large, others are small; some are on the left, others on the right; others may be in the middle. 

Your Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse (WOCN or WOC nurse) or surgeon will determine the best location for your stoma. 

A WOC nurse is a specially-trained registered nurse who cares for and teaches ostomy patients (They may also be known as ostomy nurses).

A stoma is actually the lining (the mucosa) of the intestine, which looks a lot like the inside lining of your cheek. 

The stoma will appear pink to red in color. 

Warm and moist, it excretes small amounts of mucus.

Stoma appearance depends on the type of colostomy the surgeon makes and on individual body differences. 

After surgery, it may appear quite large at first, but it will shrink to its final size in about 6 to 8 weeks. 

It will be round or oval in shape. 

Some stomas protrude a bit from the skin, while others are flat.

A stoma does not have a valve or shut-off muscle, unlike an anus. 

You won’t be able to control stool passing through the stoma, but sometimes bowel movements can be managed in other ways. 

Because the stoma itself does not contain nerve endings, it does not cause pain or discomfort.

Urostomy Supplies

IPSUMA urostomy is not a disease, but it’s usually the result of a disease or other condition. 

Your body works differently after a urostomy. 

The surgical procedure changes the way urine leaves your body. 

It re-directs urine away from a diseased, injured, or dysfunctional bladder. 

This is done either by bypassing the bladder or by removing it entirely.

This process is called a cystectomy. 

After the cystectomy, the urine is passed out of the body through a stoma.

A Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse (WOCN) or the surgeon will determine the best location for your stoma. 

As urine will continue to flow through the stoma, you will need a pouch to collect the urine as it comes out. 

Stomas do not have nerve endings, so they are not a source of pain or discomfort. 

It is just a change in the way urine leaves your body.

Medical Supplies Frequently Asked Questions

Medical supplies are items used for the treatment or diagnosis of a patient’s specific illness, injury, or condition that are consumable, disposable, or expendable.

Examples of DMEs include wheelchairs (manual and electric), hospital beds, traction equipment, canes, crutches, walkers, kidney machines, ventilators, oxygen, monitors, pressure mattresses, lifts, nebulizers, bili blankets, and bili lights.

In general, durable medical equipment is an item that can withstand repeated use and is typically used for medical purposes, is generally not useful to an individual in the absence of injury or illness, and is suitable for use at home.

DME examples include canes, blood sugar meters, hospital beds, and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines. 

Disposable medical supplies, on the other hand, do just as their name suggests, in that they are typically discarded after a single use.

In the United States, CPAP equipment is categorized as “durable medical equipment”. 

In most cases your insurance provider (including Medicaid and Medicare) will not only cover your CPAP machine, but also your mask, filters, tubing, and headgear.