VHMI uses non-ionic contrast media, which is considered the safest available intravenous contrast media in use today.
Patients are advised to expect a sensation of heat, an unusual taste or smell, or a sensation in their bladder during and immediately following the contrast injection. These symptoms are considered normal and last for only a short period of time.
The contrast is filtered from the body by the kidneys and is excreted in the urine within 3-5 hours of the initial injection. Patients are encouraged to drink additional clear fluids following their examination to assist kidney filtration.
Occasionally patients experience minor allergic reactions such as hives. More rarely, a major allergic reaction can occur. VHMI staff are trained in the management of allergic reactions and all sites that administer intravenous contrast media are equipped with emergency medications, should a patient experience a severe reaction.
Patients with a history of allergic reactions, asthma, diabetes, kidney failure or heart disease may require additional precautions to minimise possible complications from a contrast injection.
VHMI follows the infection control guidelines of State Departments of Health. Universal (Standard) precautions against cross infection are practiced at all sites. All catheters, needles and syringes used by VHMI are single use only and are discarded immediately after use or if the outer packaging is damaged in any way.
VHMI is committed to providing the very best in radiological services to its patients. Part of these commitments include ongoing testing and servicing of all diagnostic radiographic equipment within the practice, a continual review of the protocols used and quality assurance testing. In addition the equipment manufacturers carry out regular scheduled servicing on behalf of VHMI.
All radiographic equipment is registered with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). VHMI complies with the radiation control act 1990 established by the EPA. We have also adopted the recommendation of the International Commission on Radiological Protection regarding minimizing exposure of patients to ionising radiation.
Each of our highly trained radiographic staff is licensed with the EPA to use our modern equipment; they are also continually training in new techniques to ensure that a high standard of radiographic service is maintained.
As MRI scanners utilise an extremely strong magnetic field, all persons who enter the MRI scan room must be screened before being allowed in. This involves completing a comprehensive written questionnaire, which will be cross-checked with our qualified diagnostic imaging staff. Some medical implants, including cardiac pacemakers, brain aneurysm clips and cochlear (bionic ear) implants, exclude people from having an MRI. Other devices may need to be checked on a case-by-case basis. If you have any specific questions about medical implants that you have, or general concerns about MRI safety, feel free to contact us - we are here to help.
No specific preparation is required for most MRI scans, and you may eat and drink normally beforehand. If you are taking medication for pain, we advise you to take this prior to your scan so that you are not in any discomfort. In some cases, a small injection of MRI-specific contrast media into a vein in your arm may be required for your examination.