Washington Post

Covid shutdowns in China are delaying medical scans in the U.S.

A worker, wearing a protective gear, stands next to barriers during lockdown as a measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus in Jing'an district, in Shanghai on March 31, 2022. Foto: Hector Retamal/AFP

Doctors in the United States are prioritizing only the most critical patients and hospitals are rationing supplies of a crucial drug after a covid lockdown in China temporarily closed a GE Healthcare factory that is a vital source for a key ingredient in medical imaging.

The shutdown of the facility in Shanghai in April halted production of contrast media, an iodine solution that medical staff inject into blood vessels to allow a device such as a CT scanner or fluoroscope to see inside the body. Contrast media, also known as dye, is used virtually every hour in hospitals across the country to help measure arterial blockages around the heart, guide placement of stents in catheter labs, diagnose and treat strokes, and more. Oncologists use contrast to monitor cancerous tumors...

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