A Pennsylvania healthcare facility identified a neurological adverse event in a few patients within 8 hours of receiving an intravenous (IV) contrast agent for a radiologic study. This facility, which used low osmolar, nonionic, monomer, and nonionic iso-osmolar dimer contrast in the studies, contacted the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority to inquire whether similar events were reported elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Analysts addressed the request through a focused analysis of radiology contrast events in hospitals of a similar size to the requesting hospital (i.e., hospitals with 300 beds or more). Contrast media is used as an advanced imaging technique to improve diagnosis, and it is generally safe and effective. It is estimated that contrast media is used in millions of radiological studies annually. Imaging studies that may require iodinated contrast media include x-ray studies, computed tomography (CT) scans, arteriograms, and interventional radiologic procedures. Iodinated contrast media is the most commonly used IV contrast agent. An estimated 2% to 17% of patients receiving contrast media experience an adverse effect, regardless of the contrast type. Adverse reactions mostly occur with IV administration; however, they also occur with intra-arterial and nonvascular injections. Knowledge of adverse reactions, prevention, preparation, and adequate response when a reaction occurs are essential to providing safe care to patients undergoing imaging studies with contrast agents.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Further use of the material is subject to CC BY-NC-DC license. (More information)