Shortage of Contrast for Imaging Services

Because of a global shortage of iodinated contrast material (Omnipaque) caused by temporary overseas manufacturing disruptions, ChristianaCare is taking steps to preserve supply so that it remains available for the most time-sensitive and urgent patient needs. (Learn more in our frequently asked questions.)

Omnipaque contrast is the most widely used contrast material for CT scans and radiographic examinations at ChristianaCare facilities. It is also used for cardiac imaging and interventions, and in the GI lab, Surgicenter and other settings.

The shortage is expected to last several weeks, and likely into the summer months.

Hospitals and health care organizations worldwide are managing the effects of the shortage and the impact to patient care.

ChristianaCare is making every effort to meet the needs of patients who need this product in their procedures. We are working individually with physicians to prioritize those patients with the most urgent needs.

Wherever possible, we are using alternative contrast material and limiting its use to ensure adequate supplies for time sensitive and emergent exams. It is possible that some elective procedures that use this product will need to be delayed.

ChristianaCare will continue to look for options to minimize disruptions created by the shortage, as we serve our community as expert, caring partners in health.

Learn more in our frequently asked questions (FAQs).

COVID-19: New Visitation Guidelines. Click here for what to expect at ChristianaCare during COVID-19.

ChristianaCare

Shortage of Contrast for Imaging Services

Because of a global shortage of iodinated contrast material (Omnipaque) caused by temporary overseas manufacturing disruptions, ChristianaCare is taking steps to preserve supply so that it remains available for the most time-sensitive and urgent patient needs. (Learn more in our frequently asked questions.)

Omnipaque contrast is the most widely used contrast material for CT scans and radiographic examinations at ChristianaCare facilities. It is also used for cardiac imaging and interventions, and in the GI lab, Surgicenter and other settings.

The shortage is expected to last several weeks, and likely into the summer months.

Hospitals and health care organizations worldwide are managing the effects of the shortage and the impact to patient care.

ChristianaCare is making every effort to meet the needs of patients who need this product in their procedures. We are working individually with physicians to prioritize those patients with the most urgent needs.

Wherever possible, we are using alternative contrast material and limiting its use to ensure adequate supplies for time sensitive and emergent exams. It is possible that some elective procedures that use this product will need to be delayed.

ChristianaCare will continue to look for options to minimize disruptions created by the shortage, as we serve our community as expert, caring partners in health.

Learn more in our frequently asked questions (FAQs).

COVID-19: New Visitation Guidelines. Click here for what to expect at ChristianaCare during COVID-19.

Center for Heart & Vascular Health

WATCHMAN™ - Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) Treatment with Left Atrial Appendage Closure/LAAC

What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation (AFib), also called arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, affects millions of people. AFib affects your heart’s ability to pump blood normally.

Why Am I at Increased Risk of Stroke?

People with AFib have a higher risk of stroke because the heart’s upper chambers cannot push the blood through normally. Blood can pool inside the left atrial appendage or LAA, a small sac in the muscle wall of the top left chamber of the heart. If this happens, cells may stick together to form a clot. The clot may move out of the LAA and travel to other areas of the body, such as the brain, causing a stroke.

What Are My Treatment Options?


If you have nonvalvular AFib, your doctor may have prescribed a blood thinner to reduce your risk of stroke. This is the traditional treatment method to prevent blood clots from forming. If you are having trouble tolerating a blood thinner or you are at risk of bleeding complications, it may be time to think about other options. The Structural Heart Disease Program at ChristianaCare has a team of dedicated physicians who can tell you if you are a good candidate for left atrial appendage closure with the WATCHMAN™ device to reduce the risk of stroke and improve your quality of life.

Watchman™ Procedures at ChristianaCare

If you have nonvalvular AFib, your doctor may have prescribed a blood thinner to reduce your risk of stroke. This is the traditional treatment method to prevent blood clots from forming. If you are having trouble tolerating a blood thinner or you are at risk of bleeding complications, it may be time to think about other options. The Structural Heart Program at ChristianaCare has a team of dedicated physicians who can tell you if you are a good candidate for left atrial appendage closure with the WATCHMAN™ device to reduce the risk of stroke and improve your quality of life.

Our WATCHMAN Team
Our WATCHMAN Team

LAAC Procedures at ChristianaCare

ChristianaCare is the only health system in Delaware performing left atrial appendage closure (LAAC) procedures. Our team of highly skilled interventional cardiologists and electrophysiologists use the WATCHMAN™ device as an alternative stroke risk prevention method. Since the device’s approval by the FDA in 2015, our heart team has implanted more than 100 WATCHMANTM devices, and over 97% of patients have been able to come off of their blood thinner after this procedure, which surpasses the success rate of 92% shown in clinical trials.

About the WATCHMAN™ Device

Physicians use the WATCHMAN™ device to close off the LAA and reduce the risk of stroke. The WATCHMAN™ device is approved for those who have been diagnosed with nonvalvular AFib and who are:

  • At an increased risk of having a stroke from AFib.
  • Approved for short-term use of a blood thinner post-procedure.
  • Unable to take long-term oral blood thinners.

The WATCHMAN™ Procedure


The WATCHMAN™ device is an FDA-approved permanent implant that is parachute shaped and about the size of a quarter. The device is implanted into your LAA and is designed to permanently close this appendage off so blood clots cannot escape.

To implant the WATCHMAN™ device, you will be put to sleep under anesthesia. Your physician will make a small incision in your leg and thread a catheter (thin, flexible tube) through an artery to your heart and into the LAA. The procedure lasts about two hours; you then will be moved to the recovery area. Typically, patients are in the hospital for one day and then discharged to home. After you go home, our team will continue to monitor you with regular follow-up appointments to make sure your recovery goes well.

ChristianaCare Structural Heart Program
Christiana Hospital
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19718 directions
302-733-1507
structuralheartcoordinators@christianacare.org