As hospitals face shortage of contrast dye, doctor suggests alternative tests

Hospitals face shortage of contrast dye Dr. Frita Fisher says the supply chain backlogs are causing the shortage of contrast dye, which means non-urgent patients face a delay in care. She also suggests possible alternatives for patients.NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Dr. Frita Fisher, who is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and works in internal medicine and pediatrics, appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning to discuss the current shortage of contrast dye in this country, which is causing problems for both doctors and patients at hospitals and other locations.”It’s all because of the supply chain,” she said of the issue today.”We have GE Healthcare, which is in Shanghai, China, and due to that zero-COVID tolerance [there], they had to close for two months — meaning they could not make contrast dye,” she said.COVID-19 SCARED PATIENTS OUT OF HOSPITALS, BRINGING ON HEALTH NEGLECT AND EXTREME BACKLOGS”Unfortunately, here in the United States,” she said, “according to the Radiological Society of America,” there are only four companies that make contrast dye.The liquid that helps doctors is called IV contrast, which contains iodine. In a hospital or health care setting, doctors inject the material into patients’ bloodstreams in order to be able to see a variety of structures highlighted on the scans.
Patients right now cannot always get the procedures they need because of the current shortage of contrast dye in the U.S., one physician told “Fox and Friends” on Wednesday morning. 
(iStock)The lack of contrast dye right now “means that [patients] are having to delay procedures, which could mean a delay in diagnosis,” she said.With the help of the contrast dye, noted Dr. Fisher, doctors “can pick up brain tumors, we can pick up liver tumors, we can pick up blood clots,” she said. UNUSUAL TREATMENT SHOWS PROMISE FOR KIDS WITH BRAIN TUMORS”But, if you’re not deemed to be prioritized … you may have to have a delayed diagnosis because we just don’t have enough contrast” to do the procedures, she said.Dr. Fisher noted, “We should never be dependent so heavily on just one company,” comparing this current problem to what has happened with the baby formula situation in this country. 
A radiologist is shown examining breast X-rays after a cancer prevention medical check-up. “Patients need to talk to their physicians,” said Dr. Frita Fisher, about pursuing alternative tests today in light of the shortage of contrast dye.
(REUTERS)Dr. Fisher suggested that “patients have to be their own advocates … Patients need to talk to physicians about alternatives, like ultrasounds, like MRIs, and really be persistent” about it, she said.She said some of the radiologists are saving up the dye, conserving it — even diluting it in some cases.Is there a way we can manufacture this material here — and not be dependent on the manufacturing done in other countries?Some radiologists are saving up the dye, conserving it — even diluting it in some cases. “For a long-term goal, we probably can,” Fisher replied in answer to co-host Pete Hegseth’s question on Wednesday morning. “But probably that won’t be quick enough” right now to solve today’s shortage of contrast dye, she added.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPTo learn more about this story, watch the video at the top of this article, or click here to access it. 

Mojtaba Sadira

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