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Added: February 17, 2022
Alberta doctors are being asked to delay non-urgent blood testing due to a shortage of testing vials across the province.
Patients with outstanding lab tests should also consult with their doctors to determine if any non-urgent blood tests can be safely delayed until further notice, Alberta Health Services (AHS) said Wednesday in a statement.
“We are prioritizing our limited supplies for tests required for urgent and acute care purposes,” AHS said.
“Alberta physicians are requested to halt ordering non-urgent blood tests until further notice.”
It’s unclear exactly when Alberta’s supply will be restored but the current stock of vials will need to be conserved until inventory levels are replenished “in the coming weeks,” AHS said.
The shortage is widespread and caused by ongoing international supply chain issues, AHS said.
“Supplies of the vials are tight globally due to ongoing shortages of medical-grade plastics, and AHS is experiencing a short-term supply shortage after a recent order was not filled by our primary supplier,” AHS said.
The shortage affects vials used for the most commonly ordered blood tests, including complete blood count and hemoglobin tests, AHS said.
AHS is taking steps to conserve blood test supplies due to the global shortage of medical-grade plastics that has led to a temporary shortage of the most commonly used vials for collecting blood samples across the province. (1/4)
Alberta Precision Laboratories is communicating with physicians and partner organizations to notify them of the supply issue and asking for their assistance in limiting orders of non-urgent tests, AHS said.
“We are working with our vendors to have urgent shipments sent as soon as possible, and are investigating whether alternate supplies we have in stock may be used for these tests,” AHS said.