Bluewater Health Monitoring Worldwide Shortage of Intravenous Contrast

Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 11:47am

SARNIA & PETROLIA – May 31, 2022 – Bluewater Health is closely monitoring a worldwide shortage of iodinated contrast, a solution used in Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) scans at Bluewater Health. This shortage is expected to last at least until the end of June, 2022.

This week, Bluewater Health was notified that 50% of our typical shipments will be received in the coming weeks. However, the hospital is working diligently to mitigate the impact this international shortage will have locally. Alongside other Ontario hospitals, Bluewater Health is implementing strategies to conserve intravenous CT contrast supplies, including utilizing alternative methods of imaging modalities that do not require intravenous contrast.  It is of note that MRI exams with contrast are not impacted, nor are ultrasound or x-ray exams at Bluewater Health.

Currently, the international shortage is not significantly affecting appointments that are scheduled at Bluewater Health, as imaging tests are adjusted to accommodate the contrast shortage by providing alternate or complementary imaging tests to provide diagnostic answers to our community of patients and referring clinicians. Cancellations are not anticipated at this time. As the situation evolves, Bluewater Health will continue to provide updates in the coming weeks.

 “Our main focus is to provide our patients with the best possible diagnostic imaging experience and we are doing everything in our power to ensure Bluewater Health patients are not adversely impacted by this international shortage,” says Dr. Youssef Almalki, Medical Director, Diagnostic Imaging. “Locally, we are managing our supply by taking steps to limit our usage where possible and will continue to assess as we gain more insight on the shortage.”

Bluewater Health uses a product supplied by GE Healthcare, the major global supplier of intravenous contrast. Their main global manufacturing site, located in China, was recently forced to shut down due to concerns regarding COVID-19. At this time, the plant has reopened at 60-70% capacity, but it is expected to take several more weeks before production is restored to its full capacity.


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