Hospital slang

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Fri Aug 12 03:01:17 UTC 2005

>My wife had to get a CAT scan today. She reports that hospital
>personnel referred to that awful barium drink that you have to take as
>a "barry slushie."

CT oral contrast material is either very dilute barium sulphate suspension
or a solution of an iodine compound, and I'm not sure the patient would be
informed of which one he would receive. Either way the consistency would be
like that of water (or close). The barium type would have little flavor but
would be sort of chalky, maybe like diluted milk of magnesia ... but there
are all sorts of flavored versions  ... so maybe there's one named "berry
slushie" for all I know. The iodine type has an intrinsic flavor which
reminds me of very bad pastis or anisette; again it is often flavored.
(Other people have expressed very different impressions from mine.)

Sometimes the stuff is flavored by mixing it with something like Kool-Aid,
and I think there is a similar fruit-flavored product with the brand name
"Slushie", so maybe this is the reference.

I inquired of a CT technologist (Pittsburgh area), who routinely serves
oral contrast material but who has never heard of "slushie" applied to this
material. I've never heard it myself either.

-- Doug Wilson

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