How the contrast dye shortage is hindering cancer, heart care 

Many hospitals across the nation are postponing scans used to diagnose cancer and other diseases due to the shortage of a contrast dye produced in Shanghai, The New York Times reported May 26. 

William Dahut, MD, chief scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, told the Times the lack of dye in exams can make it more difficult to diagnose cancer or monitor the progress of treatments. CT scans are used in a variety of procedures, including those spotting blood clots, infections and bowel blockages. Physicians are also delaying some cardiac catheterizations as a result, the Times reported.

"We’re really worried here," said Kirk Garratt, MD, medical director of Newark, Del.-based ChristianaCare's heart and vascular health center. 

"We feel we have to make this change now to ensure we have a supply so we can keep doing the urgent care we need," Dr. Garratt added, explaining why nonurgent procedures are being delayed.

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