Managing an Allergic Reaction To Contrast Dye

Medical Emergency Readiness

Every week, HealthFirst representatives learn from our customers how they have managed a medical emergency using their emergency medical kit or crash cart. The most recent example—an allergic reaction—comes from a Houston cardiology center.

During prep for a cardiac nuclear stress test, the patient developed a reaction after injection with Lexiscan. The staff almost immediately noted a rash accompanied by swelling in the injection area.

A clinic assistant quickly administered diphenhydramine from the center’s Banyan emergency medical kit. Once stabilized, the patient told the staff that she had a similar reaction to a previous test that involved contrast medium.

It is fortunate for the patient that the pain clinic staff were well prepared and had the right equipment and medications on hand for assistance.

Importance of Patient Medical Screening

The center’s staff says the patient did not note allergies or prior allergic reactions during the intake questionnaire. Had they known about this patient’s history of allergic reactions, they would have taken additional steps before the procedure.

For more about anticipating and managing contrast medium reactions in allergic patients, read this Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality article.

HealthFirst Medical Emergency Readiness Solutions

This busy cardiac center sees over 100 patients per day and is trained on the risks associated with injecting cardiac drugs and radioactive isotopes. They also are well prepared with the proper medications to manage potential emergencies.

HealthFirst offers a full medical emergency preparedness solution for all types of practices, including emergency medical kits with automatic replenishment.

The OnTraq automated replenishment program tracks the expiration dates of emergency medications and supplies in your emergency medical kit or crash cart and prompts replacement shipments prior to their expiration. This free service (you pay only for the refills) helps you maximize shelf life through just-in-time management of your medications and supplies that have an expiry date.


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