X-ray dye shortage hinders hospitals

Healthcare facilities across the globe are seeing shortages of chemicals used in imaging services as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns in China.

An official from the American Hospital Association confirmed the shortage to MDLinx on May 5.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham issued a May 7 alert on the shortage, and some Washington state medical centers are rationing medical scans, according to a May 7 report by CBS affiliate KIRO. Bethlehem, Pa.-based St. Luke's Health System sent a message to patients May 6 regarding the shortage as well. 

"As at all U.S. hospitals, St. Luke's ability to perform these scans in all but the most critical cases will be limited until these supply chain issues are corrected," the statement read. "This shortage has been caused by the Chinese government’s COVID lockdown of Shanghai, where most of the world’s supply of contrast media is manufactured and then subsequently distributed by GE Healthcare and Bracco."

A May 4 statement from the Greater New York Hospital Association said all concentrations and formulations of GE Healthcare's iodinated contrast media products, which are manufactured in a single Shanghai facility, are in shortage. The facility has reopened and ramped up production, but the company anticipates an 80 percent reduction in supplies for the next six to eight weeks.

The shortage is expected to persist through June 30, according to the UAB alert.


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