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Summary

The survey showed that the legal mechanisms for supply and administration of medicines and contrast agents were being widely utilised in both diagnostic imaging and radiotherapy departments. Intravenous injections were being given predominately by radiographers and these radiographers had undertaken CoR accredited IV courses and/or trust and local in-house training.

Medicines used are varied and are used to improve the outcome for the patient. They include contrast agents as well as other medicines that might be given before, during or after an imaging procedure. A variety of contrast agents are in use in both diagnostic and radiotherapy departments which represent the range of imaging techniques and procedures use to image different body parts and/or organs. 

There is very little supply and administration of sedatives and antibiotics. Administration of pain relief was unusual in diagnostic radiography. Unsurprisingly, this figure is higher in radiotherapy.

Adverse events caused by reaction to the contrast media  were relatively unusual and most departments recorded no adverse reactions or events at all in the past year.  Urticaria and severe (protracted) nausea/vomiting occurred  at least once in approximately half the departments.

The commonest complication of intravenous injection of contrast agent is extravasation with approximately two thirds of departments reporting at least one episode in the past year. Generally, local policies were in place and the RCR standards for IV contrast agent administration were being followed.

Finally, respondents were positive about use of medicines and contrast media and some took the opportunity to express support for independent prescribing for radiographers.

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