Series 0003: The contrast injection and the CT scanning
Below is probably stories to be shared for radiographers to be, nurses to be and radiologists to be. Edited series.
Last few months, I went for CT (computed tomography) scanning for brain once again. Plain and with contrast. Plain means usual examination using high dose radiation while contrast means they use contrast to enhance the region for interest (i.e. brain), with CT as the imaging modality. I won’t mind about the scanning but I am worried if there’s a usage of contrast.
Like what I expected to be, they do extra harm to me (which they could avoid). I was there around 10.30am giving the CT examination form. Then asked to go to the treatment room and I know they will insert in a needle for the contrast and leave the needle there until the procedure was done for about 20 minutes.
“Adik, kat mana senang sikit nak masuk jarum ni?”
The nurse asked me, if I’m a first timer surely I won’t know which one is better. I showed up my left hand. She refused, she wanted the right hand. I showed up my right hand which already been paste with cotton.
“Owh, amik darah ke tadi tangan kanan ni?” The nurse asked again and I just nodded my head. That is why I showed up left hand. Isk3..
“Senang tak tangan kiri ni ye?”
“InshaAllah, biasa senang je tangan ni.” I said.
Then I pointed my finger to the blood vessel, it is obviously seen. When she was about to insert the contrast needle, I reconfirmed with her because she was like teragak-agak.
The needle goes in and I know something wrong, because she pointed at the wrong insertion eventhough the vessel could be seen clearly. It was not going into the blood vessel at all. Oh my, painful. For your information, needle for contrast media is bigger than usual needle which u seen.
“Alamak, silap la dik.” She looked at me, and I just relaxed looking at her. “Sakit tak ni?”
Yelah, kalau bitau kita sakit lagilah dia cuak buat. The most unaccepted part is when she pointed the needle (which is already in my hand), finding the blood vessel. She moves the needle here and there, to the right and to the left, pointing it deeper and deeper till she reached the vessel. It was very much painful.
“Sakit tak ni?” She asked again. I just keep in silence. No words. Ni belum insert contrast lagi. I said in my heart, because the blood dah membuak-buak keluar. A simple procedure yet so painful, it should be not.
I then waited outside, till they called out my name. With the needle in my hand, maybe area left brachial or left basilic I’m not sure. Painful because of the improper procedure. That was the first part.
Nurse’s view: Macam agak tak confident nak buat
Patient’s view: Kena yakin, patient put the trust on yOu!
The second part is where they asked me to put off my scarf. I remembered what my lecturer told me, there’s no need to put off your scarf and reveal your hair for this kind of examination. Yes, I know very well, scarf is not a radio opaque material. There shouldn’t be any problems. I fight a bit because I know what I am talking about; I do learn this procedure, but they still sticked with what they said. Thus I just follow their order for not giving any uncomfortable conditions. (Wah, tak puas hati.)
It was always like that in any procedures. It is hard to find health practitioners who really care and concern on patient’s dignity and rights. There was some, as always, but very rare.
Back to the case, they start with the plain scanning, then with contrast, in a large quantity (large to be inserted in the body through venous, I saw the big syringe, very big, never seen before, huhu).
I feel the contrast goes everywhere in the vessel, goes up to the face and the brain. The whole body feel so hot, very hot inside. I feel like to vomit (luckily I’m fasting, no food inside). My eyes become watery, really wanted to vomit. I can smell the contrast, hard odour, even though it was inside the body. It’s end up at 11.30am.
This is what lacking in radiographers and radiologist, they did not know exactly what the patient faced after having the contrast and also what is happening when the machine is functioning, for example the MRI, it produces terrible sound like the machine wanted to burst, this would scared the patients. If they know, they can inform the patient earlier before the scanning. This is important for not giving extra harm to the patients, emotionally or physically.
Radiographer’s view: Kalau buang je tudung and scarf kan senang sket. Lagipun bukan pape.
Patient’s view: It was our dignity which you take as a small matter. Plus, bukan ade radiopaque material.
To all healthcare practitioners to be, don’t add up what is not necessary and please be concern for what is necessary. Thank you Mr. Zainul for the great advices! InshaAllah IIUM grads from IMC will be much better, amen.
--Narrated by Anas Bin Malik--
The Prophet said: Facilitate things to people (concerning religious matter), and do not make it hard for them and give them good tidings and do not make them run away (from Islam).