Windsor Regional Hospital is monitoring an international shortage of a solution known as iodinated contrast dye used in diagnostic imaging scans that will result in the postponement of non-emergency CT, cardiac angiograms and diagnostic studies requiring contrast dye until at least the end of June.
WRH was alerted to the shortage by its supplier on Friday, May 27 and along with all other hospitals in Ontario developed mitigation strategies to restrict the use of contrast dye. The hospital uses a product supplied by GE Healthcare, a major global supplier of the dye. GE has four global manufacturing sites, one of which, located in China, was recently forced to shut down due to COVID-19 concerns. The plant has reopened at 60% capacity but it is expected to take several weeks before production is restored to full capacity.
Orders of the dye continue, however, WRH anticipates it will receive 50% of our normal shipments in the coming weeks.
WRH will prioritize CT scans and cardiac angiograms for emergency situations including patients with major trauma, possible strokes and cardiac issues, bowel blockages and critical care patients.
The hospital will contact patients whose upcoming appointments are impacted by the rationing of contrast dye use.
WRH will provide further updates in the coming days about the anticipated impact on CT scan and cardiac angiogram volumes. WRH will work with patients and referring practitioners about potential diagnostic alternatives depending on their medical concern.