Hospitals are just learning about and are very concerned that a shortage of the fluid they use to make CT scans and MRIs more readable may last until late June. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reported shortages of two forms of contrast medium fluids known as Iohexol and Iodixanol, both commonly used in CT scans. GE Healthcare, manufacturers of the products, advised that the shortage was due to a lockdown and subsequent temporary shutdown at a production facility in China.
According to The University of Alabama at Birmingham hospital “COVID-19 shutdowns in Shanghai, China, have caused a significant global shortage of intravenous contrast used in imaging procedures like enhanced X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. IV contrast is also used in procedures where the dye helps show the anatomy; with a heart catheterization, the contrast makes the blood “light up” as it passes through the heart so a physician can see blood flow. The IV contrast shortage is expected to last through at least June 30. Hospitals worldwide are bracing for effects the shortage will have on patient care.”
In a statement posted online this week, Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and patient safety policy at the American Hospital Association, said normal production of contrast IV was expected to resume in late June. Until then, hospitals across the United States are implementing conservation strategies to provide care for patients.