Bite-sized Learning - has your patient's cannula been removed?

Following an issue where a patient had gone home with their cannula in situ, the Radiology team have slightly amended their pathway. This means everyone, including the patient, is aware of what will happen as part of having their CT scan.  

CRH CT team lead Karen Hobson explained more:

"Cannulas are used in cross sectional imaging to introduce x-ray contrast into the patient’s body to enhance anatomical detail.  However, if left in situ, they can be a cause of discomfort to the patient, be a source of blood loss, if knocked or pulled out, and is also a source for infection.

"As a result of this, the cross sectional imaging department, including CT and MRI, have introduced a quick pathway to ensure, to the best of our ability that this doesn’t happen.

"As part of our post examination processing procedures, documentation involving the cannulation details are attached to the patient file (Radiology information system).

"We give the patient a clear indication of what will happen after their scan and when their cannula will be removed.  This may vary from 15 minutes to 30 minutes following the scan.

"This paperwork is held in a tray until a colleague has removed the cannula from the patient, completing the sheet with their signature.

"Once the paperwork is completed, we can proceed to arrange transport for the patient.

"Adding this small action to our normal pathway has heightened everyone’s awareness of the importance of patient care and accurate documentation.

"In summary,  we now remember to explain to patient what will happen and retain paperwork, until all documents are accurately completed.  Then we can arrange for the patient to be taken home safely."