Critical Shortage of Life-Saving Contrast Dye in US Hospitals

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We face crisis after crisis and there is no end in sight as another dangerous shortage hits hospitals – contrast dye, US News reports.

The contrast dye used in X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs is running low in the nation’s hospitals.

As the US reels from a myriad of crises and essential product scarcities, another serious and potentially deadly shortage threatens lives and well-being.

Scans save lives. The dyes make scans readable to identify clots, blockages, cancers, and more.

The shortage is expected to last until at least June 30. That is according to the American Hospital Association (AHA). However, it could last through the summer.

GE Healthcare is the main U.S. supplier of contrast fluid, called Omnipaque.

It’s a result of COVID-19 pandemic-related factory closures in Shanghai, China. That is where most of the world’s supply is made, according to CBS News.  The Shanghai lockdown on March 27th caused the shortage. It forced the GE plant to be shuttered for weeks. GE is doing what they can to accelerate deliveries from Shanghai and a plant in Ireland. Shanghai is the major supplier for GE.

China, an enemy of the United States, makes many of the life-saving medicines for the United States.

“It is too easy for us to take for granted the readily available supply of something that is so important to our patients and our radiologic practices until it’s gone,” Dr. Thomas Grist said in a news release from the Radiological Society of North America.

People who need regular scans were trying to catch up after the pandemic closed them off to them.

China’s “zero covid” policies led to the shortage. Shanghai’s shutdown halted production in the facility that generates the bulk of the US Supply. The crisis could last through the summer.


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