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Global contrast media shortage to impact WellSpan patients

Global contrast media shortage to impact WellSpan patients

A critical world-wide shortage of the iodinated contrast media (injectable dye) used primarily in imaging modalities, will impact WellSpan patients who have scheduled outpatient CT imaging studies through mid-July.

The contrast shortage is a result of COVID-19 related staffing challenges in the country it is manufactured in that temporarily shut down manufacturing of the contrast material.

According to the manufacturer, General Electric, while some production of the contrast has returned, the shortage may last through until the end of June.

The contrast, called Omnipaque, is used for various studies including CT, general radiography, interventional radiology as well as other areas. 

WellSpan has assessed its supply of the contrast and is taking several steps to ensure contrast is available for emergent use of CT studies:

  • WellSpan is not scheduling outpatient CT scan appointments that use contrast through July 18 to conserve contrast for emergent/urgent studies such as stroke cases, interventional cardiovascular procedures, trauma, and pulmonary embolus, which require the use of contrast to accurately diagnose and treat life-threatening situations. Patients' whose studies will need to be postponed will be contacted directly by WellSpan Imaging.
  • WellSpan Imaging leaders are reviewing and revising dosing protocols and recommending alternative procedures to contrasted studies that can be available to impacted patients.
  • WellSpan is working to negotiate procurement of iodinated contrast from other vendors. However, this effort will likely not provide the health system with the full volume of contrast needed.

Patients should contact their provider about alternatives to contrasted CT scans.