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October 14, 2022

Contrast Dye Shortages Result in United States Treatment Delays

Global supply chain issues can  have a negative impact on patient care.  It happened in the late 1980’s when there was no PPE (personal protective equipment) during the AIDS outbreak. The PPE shortage happened again in 2020 with the COVID global pandemic. Stories from 2020 abound with ingenious PPE improvisations. N-95 masks were sourced from hardware stores. Gowns were made of trash bags.

More recently, from April through September 2022, there was limited contrast dye available in the US. Supplies were rationed to emergent use only. The global source for contrast dye used for most diagnostic imaging comes from Shanghai. When Shanghai experienced a COVID outbreak and lockdown, global contrast dye shipments ended for a period of time. Despite the Shanghai facilities’ return to production in July, some delays persisted for some providers. Such delays can interrupt medical treatment, delay surgeries, and for the oncology community, affect the ability to measure feedback following radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

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