U.S hospitals and imaging sites are having trouble finding iodinated contrast, an agent frequently used to enhance CT scans.
The American College of Radiology says its "Committee on Drugs and Contrast Media, within the ACR Commission on Quality and Safety, is aware of the current global shortage of iodinated contrast media."
ACR offered some recommendations on how providers may address this emergency locally:
- Utilize alternative studies to answer the clinical question.
- Look for alternative versions of contrast agents.
- Source contrast from other vendors, if able, and consider having at least two vendor products on formulary.
- Contact your institutional pharmacy to determine if it is possible to repackage vials in smaller aliquots to reduce waste.
- Minimize individual doses administered to reduce waste.
"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. This disruption is expected to last until at least the end of June," said St. Luke's Health Network in Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, General Electric says it is increasing its output of dye used in exams, at its factory in Ireland to help ease the situation.
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