Hospital hearing aid battery policy

Posted by ltecato @ltecato, Sat, Jan 11 6:42pm

I went to an emergency room in April with a feeding tube problem and ended up being hospitalized for about three days. During this time, my hearing aid battery died and the hospital refused to provide a new one or even allow me to walk across a parking lot and buy a pack for myself. Does anyone know if it is standard policy for hospitals to not keep a stock of hearing aid batteries for patients? Have you ever been in a hospital when your hearing aid battery died? Thanks in advance for any responses.

I keep a card with 8 batteries (or whatever's left of the 8) in my wallet. You never know when you'll be away from home and your batteries will decide to quit. I buy batteries at Costco, where six cards of 8 each (48 total) cost $8.99, a HUGE saving from drugstore cost.

Liked by lioness, ltecato

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I do not think that a hospital should be required to provide hearing aid batteries. They would have to maintain a supply of all 4 sizes of batteries that may never get used before they expire. The same reasoning could be applied to those with rechargeable hearing aids. Now, the hospital would have to have rechargeable bases for every type and manufacturer of hearing aids. This is not practical. It should be the patient's responsibility for bringing their own batteries/recharger.
Tony in Michigan

Liked by lioness, lizzy102

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@tonyinmi

I do not think that a hospital should be required to provide hearing aid batteries. They would have to maintain a supply of all 4 sizes of batteries that may never get used before they expire. The same reasoning could be applied to those with rechargeable hearing aids. Now, the hospital would have to have rechargeable bases for every type and manufacturer of hearing aids. This is not practical. It should be the patient's responsibility for bringing their own batteries/recharger.
Tony in Michigan

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Batteries only cost a quarter if you buy in bulk. So a hospital could buy single packs of all four kinds and not go into bankruptcy, even if they have to re-stock yearly. Poster above points out you can buy 48 batteries for $9, so a hospital could get a generous supply (192) of all four sizes for approximately $36, easily. Also, I offered to walk across a parking lot and buy my own from a pharmacy and the hospital told me that if I did that they would discharge me.

So again, even if a hospital throws out $36 worth of unused batteries every year, I don't see how that is a financial hardship. Matter of fact, last time I went to an emergency room the doctor was going to replace my gastric feeding tube but then decided against it. He had a replacement tube ready to put in me, but when he decided to leave my old tube in place, the hospital for some reason decided to GIVE me the unused gastric tube that they almost installed in me, even though it had not even been taken out of the package. They handed me the unused gastric tube still in its package as I was leaving. I can post an image of it if you don't believe me. So hospitals throw out unused items all the time. If they can afford to give away an unused feeding tube, I don't see why they can't afford to throw out unused hearing aid batteries.

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At a hospital one time a patient had a dead battery problem with his hearing aids. The nurses and orderlies were trying to find him some batteries. He happened to need the same kind I have so I gave him some. All was well then. But I wondered why no one considered getting batteries from the audiology clinic that was in the same building. Hearing people don't think the way we do..

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@joyces

I keep a card with 8 batteries (or whatever's left of the 8) in my wallet. You never know when you'll be away from home and your batteries will decide to quit. I buy batteries at Costco, where six cards of 8 each (48 total) cost $8.99, a HUGE saving from drugstore cost.

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After this incident I put a pack of batteries in my truck so that if I'm ever away from home when I need to go to an emergency room, I might be able to replace a battery that dies. But the truck gets hot inside when it's parked in the sun, so I suspect that can cause the batteries to expire sooner than if they were stored at "room temperature" or in a refrigerator.

Liked by lioness

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@arrowshooter

At a hospital one time a patient had a dead battery problem with his hearing aids. The nurses and orderlies were trying to find him some batteries. He happened to need the same kind I have so I gave him some. All was well then. But I wondered why no one considered getting batteries from the audiology clinic that was in the same building. Hearing people don't think the way we do..

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"But I wondered why no one considered getting batteries from the audiology clinic that was in the same building."

I was wondering the same thing. Every darn retail pharmacy that I know of carries hearing aid batteries, and there are at least two pharmacies within easy walking distance of the hospital I was in, including one that is just across a parking lot. I don't know if the hospital has an audiology department. I'll look into it.

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I’m not surprised they couldn’t find batteries, usually they can’t find doctors either! There are rules about leaving the hospital building and they are utterly inflexible. They concern infection risks, their insurance policies, risks around accidents, addicted patients walking out to get access to their drug of choice and patients walking off while on medications they need to take at certain times. Sounds like a super annoying time, itecato. Good questions, thanks.

Liked by ltecato

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Just thought of this, we are such strong advocates for hearing loss, what would happen if you did some post-hospital advocacy to address the battery issue? You could write to hospital administration and to the Patient Advocate. You could ask for a visit from the Patient Advocate (all hospitals have them) and put a bug in their ear. For someone like me with severe/profound hearing loss, not having batteries (in case the card of batteries I carry everywhere I go runs out) could have been dangerous to my health.

Liked by ltecato

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@lizzy102

Just thought of this, we are such strong advocates for hearing loss, what would happen if you did some post-hospital advocacy to address the battery issue? You could write to hospital administration and to the Patient Advocate. You could ask for a visit from the Patient Advocate (all hospitals have them) and put a bug in their ear. For someone like me with severe/profound hearing loss, not having batteries (in case the card of batteries I carry everywhere I go runs out) could have been dangerous to my health.

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Yes, I have in fact been picketing outside the PIH hospital in Downey, Calif., and I have filed an ADA complaint against PIH with the federal Department of Justice. I am thinking about raising money through charitable donations to send free batteries to PIH, since they are apparently too miserly to buy them for the patients who need them, even if the patients pay them back for the staggering cost of $0.25 per battery.

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I just read online that the average hospital in the U.S. throws away $200,000 worth of "expired" medicine each year. That works out to more than $500 per day. If hospitals can afford to do that, I don't see why they cannot afford to throw away $40 worth of hearing aid batteries every three years (assuming that the average hearing aid battery has a shelf life of three years).

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@lizzy102

Just thought of this, we are such strong advocates for hearing loss, what would happen if you did some post-hospital advocacy to address the battery issue? You could write to hospital administration and to the Patient Advocate. You could ask for a visit from the Patient Advocate (all hospitals have them) and put a bug in their ear. For someone like me with severe/profound hearing loss, not having batteries (in case the card of batteries I carry everywhere I go runs out) could have been dangerous to my health.

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I keep 10-12 batteries in the case my Costco aids came in. Always in my pocket. the aids go about 4 days on one batt. Simple, never been a problem.

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@elwood

I keep 10-12 batteries in the case my Costco aids came in. Always in my pocket. the aids go about 4 days on one batt. Simple, never been a problem.

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I think my batteries usually last at least 10 days but it always *seems* like they die sooner than I expect. I'm only using one aid now.

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Not all batteries are create equal. Some brands/types have more capacity than others.
The one commonality is that streaming (bluetooth) drains batteries much faster than just using HA mics.

Liked by tonyinmi, ltecato

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OK, I've been wondering, do batteries last longer if you let them sit and "breathe" for a few minutes after you peel off the sticker before putting them in the HA? I have tried that occasionally but cannot tell if it makes much difference.

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I assume you mean for the zinc/air batteries. Theoretically – yes. Actually – it depends.

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