rAdIoLoGy NoTeS 09 - Of Barium Enemas, Hairsticks and Guardian Angels 4/20/2008 04:00:00 PM

You'll get the point of my subtitle once you read through this post.

A funny, odd thing happened to me while doing one of the most common special radiographic procedure: a barium enema. This consists of introducing a liquid contrast through the rectum to visualize the large intestine upto at least the cecum and appendix, at most to the terminal ileum (the distal small intestine). We usually have the contrast up in a bucket with a rubber tubing at the bottom hanging from an IV stand. I already moved the IV stand a little behind me and was through with introducing the contrast, but was still visualizing the large bowel using fluoroscopy. Suddenly, I heard a clang, and the next thing I knew, the IV stand fell to the floor spilling the bucket of barium. I guess my hairstick (I usually get my curly locks out of the way when doing a special procedure with this, a clip or scrunchie) hit the bucket and sent the whole set-up crashing to the floor. The radiologic technologist thought I was soaking wet, but thankfully, the contrast only slightly splashed the sandals I was wearing and my exposed toes. Neither my patient, the fluoroscopy machine, the monitor nor I were hit by the contraption consisting of an IV stand and a bucket full of barium contrast. I had a laugh and got back to work after the housekeeper cleaned up.

Upon mentioning it to a friend, she commented that my guardian angel must have been at work. I believe that she's right. The whole thing could have crashed anywhere but the floor and yet to the floor it went. Nobody was hurt and no equipment was damaged. And the thing was, I didn't need anymore barium at that time because I was through with infusing contrast. Lesson learned though: No hairsticks for my curls at my next scheduled barium enema.

Thank you, Guardian Angel for keeping me, and those around me safe...Again!

"Angel of God,

My Guardian Dear

To Whom His Love

Commits me here

Ever this day

Beat my side

To light and guard

To rule and guide

Amen."