Errors of epinephrine administration during severe allergic-like contrast reactions: lessons learned from a bi-institutional study using high-fidelity simulation testing.

To determine the most common errors of epinephrine administration during severe allergic-like contrast reaction management using high-fidelity simulation surrogates.
IRB approval and informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant bi-institutional prospective study of 40 radiology residents, fellows, and faculty who were asked to manage a structured high-fidelity severe allergic-like contrast reaction scenario (i.e., mild hives progressing to mild bronchospasm, then bronchospasm unresponsive to bronchodilators, and finally anaphylactic shock) on an interactive manikin. Intravenous (IV) and intramuscular epinephrine ampules were available to all participants, and the manikin had a functioning intravenous catheter for all scenarios. Video recordings of their performance were reviewed by experts in contrast reaction management, and errors in epinephrine administration were recorded and characterized.
No participant (0/40) failed to give indicated epinephrine, but more than half (58% [23/40]) committed an error while doing so. The most common mistake was to administer epinephrine as the first-line treatment for mild bronchospasm (33% [13/40]). Other common errors were to administer IV epinephrine without a subsequent IV saline flush or concomitant IV fluids (25% [10/40]), administer an overdose of epinephrine (8% [3/40]), and administer epinephrine 1:1000 intravenously (8% [3/40]).
Epinephrine administration errors are common. Many radiologists fail to administer albuterol as the first-line treatment for mild bronchospasm and fail to flush the IV catheter when administering IV epinephrine. High-fidelity contrast reaction scenarios can be used to identify areas for training improvement.
AuthorsCarolyn L Wang, Matthew S Davenport, Sankar Chinnugounder, Jennifer G Schopp, Kimia Kani, Sadaf Zaidi, Dan S Hippe, Angelisa M Paladin, Neeraj Lalwani, Puneet Bhargava, William H Bush
JournalAbdominal imaging (Abdom Imaging) Vol. 39 Issue 5 Pg. 1127-33 (Oct 2014) ISSN: 1432-0509 [Electronic] United States
PMID25237003 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Multicenter Study)
Chemical References
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists
  • Contrast Media
  • Epinephrine
  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Adrenergic alpha-Agonists (therapeutic use)
  • Contrast Media (adverse effects)
  • Epinephrine (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate (chemically induced, drug therapy)
  • Manikins
  • Medication Errors (statistics & numerical data)
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiology (education)

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