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Helium Shortage, But Hospitals Okay for Now

Posted: Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at 6:23 am
Author: KCII News - Brad Gaspelin

There is a shortage of helium in the world, and while you may see helium as a gas used for fun in balloons, and to make your voice sound different, it’s actually used in medical applications. Denni Brown with the Radiology Department at Washington County Hospital and Clinics says they use helium to cool the magnets for MRI machines. But while other users of helium, like Wolf Floral, are having trouble finding a supply, the hospital won’t have trouble for many years. Brown says the company installing their new MRI machine this fall told them they won’t have trouble getting helium for 30 years. That’s because hospitals and medical applications of helium have first preference on the helium. So birthday parties may be lacking in balloons in the future, the shortage of helium won’t affect your health.