Small hospitals running out of isotopes

Smaller hospitals across the country will run out of medical isotopes this week, leaving cancer and heart patients to find alternatives.

OTTAWA — Smaller hospitals across the country will run out of medical isotopes this week, leaving cancer and heart patients to find alternatives.

The sobering news comes amid demands that Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt resign for calling the isotope shortage a “sexy” issue.

The head of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine says smaller hospitals have been told they won’t receive isotope shipments from nuclear reactors in the Netherlands and South Africa on Thursday and Friday.

“There is a marked reduction in availability of medical isotopes this Thursday and Friday, where the shipments that we were hoping would be coming in from South Africa and the Netherlands will not be arriving,” Dr. Christopher O’Brien said. “For some of our smaller hospitals, there will be absolutely no medical isotope availability Thursday and Friday.”

O’Brien says that means some patients booked on those days for diagnostic scans to detect cancer and heart ailments may have to be rescheduled.

Uncertainty about hospitals getting their isotopes over the weekend and into next week has left doctors and patients in limbo, he added.

“This will be across Canada. And it’ll be a patchwork effect as well,” O’Brien said.

“Some centres will be a little better off than others. We tend to see the rural centres are the ones that are impacted significantly more so than the urban centres that can pool their medical isotopes more effectively based on the geography that they’re in.”

Just Posted

Bringing music to Red Deer for 50 years

The Red Deer Community Band Society has been bringing music to the… Continue reading

Guards injured, money stolen, during overnight blast at Edmonton bank

EDMONTON — Two security guards have been injured in an explosion that… Continue reading

Pot stores on agenda at Toronto city council after two municipalities opt out

TORONTO — Councillors in Toronto are set to debate whether to allow… Continue reading

Police believe body found near Mexican resort is missing Quebec woman

MONTREAL — Mexican authorities have found the body of a woman near… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Sex assault trial for former gymnastics coach resumes in Sarnia

SARNIA, Ont. — The trial of a former high-ranking gymnastics coach accused… Continue reading

Victims of former ski coach Charest say they were ‘sacrificed’ by Alpine Canada

MONTREAL — A lawsuit filed Wednesday against Alpine Canada by three victims… Continue reading

Emily Blunt on the ‘daunting’ task of playing Mary Poppins

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Emily Blunt loves a challenge, and in the… Continue reading

Tommy Chong says Canada’s weed legalization has kept ‘underground market alive’

TORONTO — Tommy Chong has a pass, man. While some Canadians who… Continue reading

Apple deepens Austin ties, expands operations east and west

AUSTIN, Texas — Apple will build a $1 billion campus in Austin,… Continue reading

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Most Read