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Global isotope shortage to impact WellSpan patients

Global isotope shortage to impact WellSpan patients

A critical world-wide shortage of the isotope media used primarily in imaging modalities will impact WellSpan Health patients who have scheduled outpatient nuclear medicine studies through the end of November.

Isotopes for nuclear medicine studies do not have a long shelf life and long-term supplies are not able to be maintained.

The isotope shortage is a result of unexpected downtime for the nuclear reactor that produces the isotope. The reactor is undergoing repairs and is anticipated to return to normal production around Nov. 22.

WellSpan has assessed its supply of the isotopes and is taking several steps to utilize it for emergent use of nuclear medicine:

  • WellSpan is limiting all routine outpatient nuclear medicine studies.
  • Inpatient and emergent studies will continue to be scheduled and performed while isotope supply is available.
  • WellSpan Imaging leaders are reviewing and recommending alternative procedures to nuclear medicine studies that can be available to impacted patients.

Patients requiring imaging services that are affected by the global shortage should contact their provider about alternatives to nuclear medicine studies.