Nursing Central is the award-winning, complete mobile solution for nurses and students. Look up information on diseases, tests, and procedures; then consult the database with 5,000+ drugs or refer to 65,000+ dictionary terms. Explore these free sample topics:
-- The first section of this topic is shown below --
Computed axial tomography (CAT), computed transaxial tomography (CTT), helical/spiral CT.
To visualize and assess internal organs/structures for abnormal or absent anatomical features, abscess, aneurysm, cancer or other masses, infection, or presence of disease. Used as an evaluation tool for surgical, radiation, and medical therapeutic interventions.
There are no activity restrictions unless by medical direction. Instruct the patient to fast and restrict fluids, as ordered, for 2 to 4 hr prior to the procedure; CT studies performed without contrast usually do not require the patient to fast before the procedure (e.g., CTA). Fasting may be ordered as a precaution against aspiration related to possible nausea and vomiting. The American Society of Anesthesiologists has fasting guidelines for risk levels according to patient status. More information can be located at www.asahq.org.
Note: If iodinated contrast medium is scheduled to be used in patients receiving metformin or drugs containing metformin for type 2 diabetes, the drug may be discontinued on the day of the test and continue to be withheld for 48 hr after the test.
Regarding the patient's risk for bleeding, the patient should be instructed to avoid taking natural products and medications with known anticoagulant, antiplatelet, or thrombolytic properties or to reduce dosage, as ordered, prior to the procedure. Number of days to withhold medication is dependent on the type of anticoagulant. Note the last time and dose of medication taken. Protocols may vary among facilities.
Ensure that barium studies were performed more than 4 days before the CT scan. Protocols may vary among facilities.
Critical Findings and Potential Interventions
Brain and Head
Timely notification to the requesting health-care provider (HCP) of any critical findings and related symptoms is a role expectation of the professional nurse. A listing of these findings varies among facilities.