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Administration of Anticancer Drugs: Exposure in Hospital Nurses

Authors
  • Rioufol, Catherine
  • Ranchon, Florence
  • Schwiertz, Vérane
  • Vantard, Nicolas
  • Joue, Elsa
  • Gourc, Chloé
  • Gauthier, Noémie
  • Guedat, Marie Gabrielle
  • Salles, Gilles
  • Souquet, Pierre-Jean
  • Favier, Bertrand
  • Gilles, Laurence
  • Freyer, Gilles
  • You, Benoît
  • Trillet-Lenoir, Véronique
  • Guitton, Jérôme
Type
Published Article
Journal
Clinical Therapeutics
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Accepted Date
Jan 26, 2014
Volume
36
Issue
3
Pages
401–407
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2014.01.016
Source
Elsevier
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

BackgroundEven though anticancer drugs are prepared in dedicated pharmaceutical units, nurses remain exposed to cytotoxic agents during administration to patients. ObjectiveThe aim of this study was to assess this occupational exposure during the intravenous line–purging procedure at the patient’s bedside before administration in oncology departments. MethodsThis prospective study was conducted over a 4-week period in the hematology and oncology departments at a university hospital. Amounts of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide on the surface of nurses’ gloves were measured after the intravenous line purge of the infusion bag and the connection to the patient. For this purpose, gloves were washed with sterile water, following a validated procedure. Quantification of the 2 drugs into the water was performed using LC-MS/MS. ResultsAfter 59 chemotherapy administrations, 30.5% of gloves were contaminated. Despite extremely low volumes of contamination (0.08–6.28 µL), amounts collected ranged from 190 to 2500 ng per pair of gloves that tested positive for doxorubicin (median, 1600 ng) and from 130 to 32,600 ng with cyclophosphamide (median, 2700 ng). ConclusionsThe intravenous line purge preceding antineoplastic infusion bag administration is a potential source of contamination in nurses. Contaminations appear to be invisible but frequent (in >30% of cases). Therefore, intravenous line purging performed under appropriately safe conditions should be mandated in pharmaceutical units dedicated to injectable-drug preparation. This measure should be included as a standard hospital practice as a matter of urgency.

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