SARNIA & PETROLIA – June 2, 2022 – As previously addressed on May 31, 2022, Bluewater Health is continuing to monitor an international shortage of iodinated contrast, a solution used in Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) scans at Bluewater Health.
Following a brief update from our supplier, GE Healthcare, Bluewater Health was notified that no further shipments are expected for at least the next three weeks. As a result, Bluewater Health will be moving from a state of conservation to rationing supplies by rescheduling non-emergency appointments that absolutely require contrast to a later date and prioritizing urgent care needs.
“We are continuing to maximize our efforts to maintain safe service for our community by utilizing alternative methods of imaging modalities,” says Dr. Youssef Almalki, Medical Director, Diagnostic Imaging. “We are advocating to gain more clarity from GE on this international concern that is impacting the majority of hospitals across the province. Our top priority as always is to accommodate patients and continue providing the highest standard of care possible.”
Bluewater Health will continue to prioritize CT scans for emergency situations including patients experiencing possible strokes, trauma and other urgent issues. The hospital will be contacting patients whose upcoming CT scan and procedural appointments are impacted by the rationing of iodinated contrast media (ICM) use.
Currently, Bluewater Health is working alongside member hospitals in the West Region of Ontario Health and provincial bodies to prioritize use of ICM. It is of note that MRI exams with contrast are not impacted, nor are ultrasound or x-ray exams at Bluewater Health.
Bluewater Health will continue to provide updates to patients and the public in regards to expected impacts on diagnostic appointments as the situation evolves.