What the Contrast Shortage Means for Hospitals and Patients

American hospitals and healthcare providers are deferring CT scans and related care due to a shortage of iohexol and iodixanol contrast media caused by a COVID-19-related shutdown at a major Shanghai-based manufacturer.

General Electric Co., one of four contrast manufacturers, operates the Shanghai plant that produces the injectable fluid, which physicians use to track various cancers and uncover a myriad of issues, ranging from lung clots to heart blockage. Without it, “we have a real difficulty in performing some of those scans,” said Kevin Stevenson, Host of “I Don’t Care With Kevin Stevenson.”

Without access to this solution, procedures are canceled or placed on hold indefinitely; care is rationed. “That [dye] is used to allow our providers to make a clearer diagnosis,” Stevenson said. “Without that availability of contrast, it just inhibits care for everyone.”

The shortage is impacting healthcare providers — and patients — in hospital settings. Without access, there is not “an expedient diagnosis because the contrast isn’t available for the scan,” Stevenson said.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been a root cause of the contrast shortage — especially in China, where recent mandatory shutdowns halted factory production. Although GE has similar plants in other global locations, the US receives most of its supply from Shanghai, according to Bloomberg.

But, Stevenson said there’s hope on the horizon as many Shanghai-based factories have reopened, and the GE plant is starting to ramp up production of the precious commodity. The shortage is expected to last through July, but GE’s manufacturing plant is back to 50% production capacity. To expedite the shipping process, the company is flying contrast from its Shanghai- and Ireland-based plants.

In the meantime, the American Hospital Association (AHA) has asked GE to allocate available supplies to medical facilities treating the most urgent patients. “We believe hospitals that are designated stroke centers, major heart care centers and oncology centers, or those that simply have very active emergency departments should receive special consideration from GE as it chooses how to distribute the product it has available,” AHA stated in a May 16 letter.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!

Image

Latest

Construction of the HPC Data Center is Prime Destination for AI Progression
May 17, 2024

As digital infrastructure continues to evolve, the strategic development of data centers is crucial. A recent update from Applied Digital celebrates the progress of the company’s HPC Data Center in Ellendale, North Dakota, positioning it as a pivotal player in the advancement of AI technologies. Highlighted in this special video is the HPC Data…

Read More
Nick Phillips of Applied Digital talks community engagement
Community Engagement is Key for Companies Aiming to Support and Impact Local Communities
May 17, 2024

Corporate responsibility is under the microscope but Applied Digital readily stands out for its positive impact on local communities. As part of the broader discussion on community engagement and economic development, there are several things companies can do to contribute to local prosperity. For a special episode for Applied Digital, Nick Phillips, EVP of…

Read More
Ellendale HPC Datacenter
Ellendale HPC Datacenter
May 17, 2024

The shell of our groundbreaking Ellendale HPC Datacenter is nearly complete! With each panel and beam, we’re closer to launching a hub with unmatched AI capabilities, designed for high-density computing. Watch as we shape the future of AI infrastructure

Read More
Sunstone Partners’ 2024 planning and strategy
Sunstone Partners Offsite 2024
May 17, 2024

Sunstone Partners’ 2024 planning and strategy meeting was held offsite in Calistoga, CA this year.  During the event the team bonded in fun activities like wine making and fantastic meals.  On the business side, there was reflection on the significant accomplishments of the team for the year, as well as focusing on upcoming goals…

Read More