Hospitals face severe shortage of medical dyes

Hospitals across the country and around the world are facing critical shortages of a dye used in common imaging studies such as CT scans, as well as heart attack and stroke procedures. Now, some facilities must conserve and prioritize their use to ensure they have enough for patients who absolutely need it. An iodinated contrast medium is injected into patients and enters blood vessels, allowing doctors to better see a patient’s anatomy and organs. . “We had to triage and limit the use of contrast dye to only critically ill patients who needed to have contrast dye to establish a diagnosis or to guide life-saving or limb-sparing treatment,” says Dr. Phil Johnson, Chief of the Clinical Department of Radiology at the University of Kansas Health System. The dye shortage is blamed on a COVID shutdown at a production facility in Shanghai where most of this product is made. Dr Johnson says the shortage is concerning because some procedures are not possible without the dye. “We can do a scan without contrast. It might not be as good, but we can still get valuable information. We can do other imaging studies like MRIs or ultrasounds. But if someone someone has a heart attack or if someone has a stroke, the only way to get into the blood vessel with a catheter, in the heart or the brain, is to inject an X-ray dye to identify the clot,” says The American Hospital Association recently issued a notice to members to provide resources on how to conserve supply Normal production of the dye is not expected to resume until the end of June Doctors say the current goal is to maintain emergency and critical care supplies, which means that some elective tests or elective procedures may need to be delayed or postponed.

Hospitals across the country and around the world are facing critical shortages of a dye used in common imaging studies such as CT scans, as well as heart attack and stroke procedures. Now, some facilities must conserve and prioritize their use to ensure they have enough for patients who absolutely need it.

An iodinated contrast medium is injected into patients and enters blood vessels, allowing doctors to better see a patient’s anatomy and organs. “We had to triage and limit the use of contrast dye to only critically ill patients who needed to have contrast dye to establish a diagnosis or to guide life-saving or limb-sparing treatment,” says Dr. Phil Johnson, Chief of the Clinical Department of Radiology at the University of Kansas Health System.

The dye shortage is blamed on a COVID shutdown at a production facility in Shanghai where most of this product is made.

Dr Johnson says the shortage is concerning because some procedures are not possible without the dye. “We can do a scan without contrast. It might not be as good, but we can still get valuable information. We can do other imaging studies like MRIs or ultrasounds. But if someone someone has a heart attack or if someone has a stroke, the only way to get into the blood vessel with a catheter, in the heart or the brain, is to inject an X-ray dye to identify the clot,” says -he.

The American Hospital Association recently issued a notice to members to provide resources on how to conserve supply.

Normal production of the dye is not expected to resume until the end of June.

Doctors say the current focus is to maintain emergency and critical care supplies, meaning some elective scans or elective procedures may need to be delayed or postponed.

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