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Critical Contrast Shortage

Recently we were made aware of a key shortage with our supply chain for iodinated contrast media used for diagnostic CT scans, angiograms, cardiac catheterization and other image-guided procedures. It is anticipated to be in severe shortage through late summer, maybe longer, due to the shutdown of the GE manufacturing plant in Shanghai. 

What we need from providers

  • Evaluate your CT order to consider if it could be done without contrast.
  • Epic ordering: Starting on Monday, when ordering CT scans, you will be prompted with additional criteria or questions for certain tests.
  • Consider use of other modalities as appropriate.
  • Radiology physicians are making changes to their protocols to reduce usage amounts as appropriate.

For questions regarding ordering of CTs, please contact:

  • Hamilton: PRI – (513) 867-2496
  • All other facilities: KNRI – (937) 395-8627

What Kettering Health is doing

A Kettering Health multi-disciplinary group of clinicians, providers, and operational leads from affected areas has developed shortage conservation strategies. Below is some of their initial work:

  • Supply chain is maximizing the effort to acquire additional inventory from manufacturers and alternative sources.
  • Pharmacy is pursuing strategies for repackaging contrast agents affected into smaller doses, including ordering additional supplies to support these alternative for repackaging.
  • Radiology is purchasing hi-flow contrast injectors that use 500ml contrast bottles, which GE continues to indicate they will produce and prioritize for their hi-flow injector customers.
  • Every day, radiology leaders are looking at waste and opportunities to reduce use by shifting procedures between sites and/or changing contrast bottles used.
  • Pausing any referrals for outpatient testing from providers that are not on our medical staff.
  • Evaluating use of clinical prioritization/utilization committee that will evaluate elective procedures.

This will be an evolving and changing process, and we will ensure you receive follow-up communication as things change. We appreciate your collaboration as we pivot to deal with this shortage issue. Please share this information with providers, Radiology, Cardiology, Neurology, Emergency Room, Pharmacy, and Patient Registration teams.

Additional background info

  • This plant provides the majority of the U.S. and Asian supply of both contrast agents.
  • GE is working with the FDA to determine next steps necessary to mitigate this situation.
  • GE highly recommends conserving these contrast agents for the most critically ill patients.
  • Omnipaque and visipaque inventory on hand is currently limited and additional supply is currently set at 20% of allocations. Shortage resolution dates with GE are uncertain at this time.
  • Other vendors have no capacity to take on new customers to provide the product in the interim.
  • The allocation is expected to last at minimum through the summer but could be extended depending upon production timing.
May 13, 2022