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Knowledge and practices of cardiopulmonary arrest and anaphylactic reactions in the radiology department

  • Osiemo, Sarah K.1
  • Onyambu, Callen K.2
  • Aywak, Angeline A.2
  • 1 Department of Radiology, The Mater Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 2 Department of Diagnostic Imaging and Radiation Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Published Article
SA Journal of Radiology
Publication Date
May 28, 2020
DOI: 10.4102/sajr.v24i1.1841
PMID: 32537252
PMCID: PMC7276477
PubMed Central


Background Emergencies in the radiology department may arise in critically ill patients who are brought to the department for imaging, interventional procedures or as a result of adverse reactions to contrast media used for imaging. Adverse reactions to contrast media range from minor to severe life-threatening effects and initial, prompt management decreases complications. Radiology staff must possess knowledge of the management of anaphylactic or anaphylactoid contrast reactions and cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) as they are likely to be the first responders. Objectives To determine the knowledge and practices amongst radiologists, radiology residents and radiographers in the management of CPA and adverse reactions to contrast media. Method This cross-sectional study was performed between March and August 2016 at Kenyatta National Hospital using a questionnaire. Results Eighty participants were enrolled. None answered all the questions correctly, with only 55% of radiologists, 35% of residents and 39% of radiographers scoring above 50%. The majority (82%) of participants had adequate knowledge regarding the symptoms, signs and risk factors of adverse reactions to contrast media; however, only 30% knew that intravenous epinephrine is the recommended therapy for a severe anaphylactic reaction. Shortcomings in terms of adequate training were found in this study, with the majority of respondents having not attended any life support course in the preceding 5 years. Conclusion Health providers within the radiology unit had knowledge about identifying both mild and severe symptoms of anaphylactic reactions. However, there were knowledge gaps regarding the management of these reactions.

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