Some scans postponed this month at Windsor Regional Hospital due to dye shortage

·1 min read
An international dye shortage has led Windsor Regional Hospital to postpone some non-emergency scans this month.  (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)
An international dye shortage has led Windsor Regional Hospital to postpone some non-emergency scans this month. (Sanjay Maru/CBC - image credit)

An international shortage of iodinated contrast dye has led Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH) to postpone non-emergency scans this month.

The hospital says non-emergency CT, cardiac angiograms and diagnostic studies that use the dye will be postponed until at least the end of June.

"It's really a special dye that's injected into patients to help visualize their blood vessels, organs like kidneys, liver intestines, the heart, and it really provides that contrast between the dye itself and your tissues," said Karen Riddell, chief nursing executive and vice president of critical care and cardiology at the hospital.

"We can do ct scans and MRIs and other diagnostic testing with iodinated contrast dye however the actual image will not be as good as one that is done with contrast."

WRH said they were alerted about the shortage last Friday, and that all Ontario hospitals are working to mitigate their uses of the dye.

LISTEN | Hear more about the dye shortage:

The hospital is saving the contrast dye for critical tests, like heart attacks, strokes or trauma.

Riddell said the shortages are due to a major global supplier of the dye — GE Healthcare located in China — recently shutting down due to COVID-19 concerns. The hospital said the plant has reopened at 60 per cent capacity and it's expected to take several weeks before production is at full per cent.

Riddell said the supply issue is expected to continue through June.

The hospital said it will contact and patients whose upcoming scans are impacted by rationing the dye.

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