Visual Aids Can Increase Radiologists’ Confidence in Managing Reactions to Contrast Media

Leesburg, VA, September 21, 2018—Use of a visual aid increased the subjective confidence of radiologists in the dose and route of medication administration in simulated patient reaction to contrast media and led to faster administration of epinephrine, according to an article in the October 2018 issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

Patients receiving IV contrasts can have a variety of reactions, including life-threatening anaphylaxis, although such occurrences are rare.

Researchers divided 138 attending radiologists and trainees into 21 sessions as part of a simulated contrast medium reaction program. Eleven groups received a visual aid, 10 groups did not. The visual aid provided was a 8.5 × 11 inch laminated poster placed on top of the contrast medium reaction kit.

The visual aid included clinical decision algorithms for response to the following scenarios: unresponsive, hypotensive, wheezing/bronchospasm, facial/laryngeal edema, and urticaria. Both adult and pediatric doses were provided in the algorithms where appropriate. The aid also provided photographs detailing the appropriate use of an epinephrine autoinjector, including how to hold the device.

Radiologists who had access to a visual aid reported being more confident when managing contrast media reactions than those without. The aids also correlated to faster epinephrine administration.

Overall, authors found epinephrine self-administration accounted for the most errors in the study aside from visual aid use. Researchers suggested continued education is needed for these devices.

Founded in 1900, ARRS is the first and oldest radiology society in the United States, and is an international forum for progress in radiology. The Society's mission is to improve health through a community committed to advancing knowledge and skills in radiology. ARRS achieves its mission through an annual scientific and educational meeting, publication of the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) and InPractice magazine, topical symposia and webinars, and print and online educational materials. ARRS is located in Leesburg, VA.