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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 78

of 'Immediate hypersensitivity reactions to radiocontrast media: Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment'

Acute contrast reaction management by radiologists: a local audit study.
Bartlett MJ, Bynevelt M
Australas Radiol. 2003;47(4):363.
Consultant radiologists and trainees must possess knowledge of optimal acute management of anaphylactic/anaphylactoid contrast reactions because patient survival depends upon prompt initial management. The aim of the present study is to assess the knowledge of first-line management of these reactions among radiologists. Within one working day, and without prior knowledge, radiology consultants and trainees within four teaching hospitals in a major Australian capital city were asked to complete a confidential questionnaire regarding acute resuscitation management. Scenarios were presented of an adult who developed life-threatening symptoms of anaphylaxis immediately after intravenous contrast administration, ventricular fibrillation and profound bradycardia. Questions were asked with regards to adrenaline, corticosteroid, antihistamines, intravenous volume expansion, cardio-pulmonary rescuscitation and knowledge of the emergency telephone number. Sites were assessed for presence of an anaphylaxis management chart and also when each participant last completed a resuscitation course. Forty-two participants were recruited. Overall, 53% of questions were answered correctly. Only 43% knew the adrenaline dose and if an incorrect dose was administered it was more likely to be an overdose. Notable inadequacies were also discovered with corticosteroid, atropine, antihistamine doses and intravenous fluid use. Only 26% had completed a resuscitation course in the past 2 years. Forty-five percent knew the emergency telephone number and 55% of rooms using intravenous contrast contained an immediately visible chart for contrast reaction management. Radiologist and trainee knowledge of immediate life-threatening contrast reaction management is deficient. Severe contrast reactions are uncommon with today's use of non-ionic contrast, but they still occur. Experience in the management of anaphylaxis can only come from regular, compulsory training.
Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. muzcathy@bigpond.com