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Poster Display session 3

5605 - Cytotoxic contamination in cancer care settings – Risks and safety awareness among cancer nurses

Date

30 Sep 2019

Session

Poster Display session 3

Presenters

Sandra Lundman Vikberg

Citation

Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v825-v828. 10.1093/annonc/mdz274

Authors

S. Lundman Vikberg1, M. Josbrant1, L. Sharp2

Author affiliations

  • 1 Oncology, Piteå Sjukhus, 94150 - Piteå/SE
  • 2 Cancer Care Improvements, Regional Cancer Center Stockholm Gotland, 102 39 - Stockholm/SE
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Resources

Abstract 5605

Background

Staff who comes in contact with cytotoxic agents in conjunctions with preparation, administration, nursing care and cleaning are at risk for exposure. These hazardous drugs can alter DNA or affect other intracellular processes that interfere with cancer cell growth. Using personal protection equipment (PPE) and closed systems reduce but doesn’t eliminate the risks of exposure. Current guidelines vary between countries and few organization test exposure risks systematically.

Methods

We performed tests on occupational exposure (from 10 different health care surfaces) from three types of chemotherapy (Cyclophosphamide, Gemcitabine and Fluorouracil) from three different hospitals in Sweden. The tests were analyzed at an accredited lab according to protocol. We also collected survey data from cancer nurses on safety awareness, adherence to safety protocol and education from the same hospitals. Data on cleaning routines were also collected.

Results

Preliminary results showed exposure above recommended risk level at all three hospitals and for all three drugs. The survey data showed that nurses only partly follow the recommended PPE but all responded that they had knowledge and competence to handle cytotoxic drugs, even if 37 % reported not to receiving any education from the employer. Cleaning routines differed between the hospitals and may explain some of the exposures.

Conclusions

Nurses in chemotherapy care are exposed to cytotoxic drugs. Efforts are needed to reduce these occupational risks and managers need to adopt a systematic approach to test exposure risks and to intervene. Guidelines need to be revised and include recent research results. Clinical nurses should always use PPE.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The authors.

Funding

Regionalt cancercentrum Stockholm-Gotland.

Disclosure

All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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