UAB is experiencing medical technology shortages

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ALABAMA (WHNT) – COVID shutdowns in China are triggering supply chain issues across the United States Here in Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) hospital is experiencing a shortage of contrast , the solution used in imaging procedures.

Contrast is a special dye that improves what doctors can see in images from x-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Doctors use contrast imaging to examine trauma in the body and diagnose a number of conditions, including strokes.

UAB’s acting chief medical officer, Dr. Kierstin Kennedy, said the shortage has forced UAB physicians to find alternative procedures to diagnose patients.

“We’re just very, very careful about where we use contrast,” Kennedy said. “If there is an option for a different type of study, either a CT scan, for example, without contrast, or if there is the possibility of making the diagnosis with an ultrasound or an MRI, we try to ensure that we let’s use these study options.

Radiologists determine the lowest doses of contrast that can be used and always produce accurate results.

Kennedy says mitigation efforts are necessary because some diagnoses can only be made after using contrast imaging.


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