Study- Chemo Drug Exposure in Nurses
Nurses who treat cancer patients may be at risk for toxic exposure from the chemotherapy drugs, a new study finds. The study, published in the British Medical Journal-Quality and Safety, found that unintentional chemotherapy exposure can:
- affect the nervous system;
- impair the reproductive system;
- and bring an increased risk of developing blood cancers.
- Nearly 17% of nurses working where the chemotherapy drugs were administered reported being exposed to the drugs on their skin or eyes.
- Nurses who were accidentally exposed to chemotherapy drugs were more likely to report their workplace had limited staffing and resources than those were not exposed.
- Fewer exposures happened in settings where two or more nurses were required to verify chemotherapy orders.
In light of the findings, researchers concluded that exposure could be reduced if the facilities were better staffed and if certain safety standards were put into practice.
“Ensuring adequate staffing and resources and adherence to recognized practice standards may protect oncology nurses from harm.”
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