Institutions that administer anticancer agents should ideally have a current guideline on the proper management of the inadvertent administration of these toxic medications into tissues surrounding blood vessels” Kimmel et al (2017).
Although the risk of extravasation of a chemotherapy (anticancer) medication is low, the complications associated with these events can have a significant impact on morbidity and health care costs. Institutions that administer anticancer agents should ideally have a current guideline on the proper management of the inadvertent administration of these toxic medications into tissues surrounding blood vessels.
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It is imperative that the health care team involved in administering drugs used to treat cancer be educated on the risk factors, preventative strategies and treatment of anticancer extravasations, as well as practice safe and proper administration techniques. Anticancer agents are generally divided into classes based on their ability to cause tissue damage. The review of current published guidelines and available literature reveals a lack of consensus on how these medications should be classified. In addition, many recently approved drugs for the treatment of cancer may lack data to support their classification and management of extravasation events. The treatment of the majority of extravasations of anticancer agents involves nonpharmacological measures, potentially in the ambulatory care setting. Antidotes are available for the extravasation of a minority of vesicant agents in order to mitigate tissue damage. Due to the limited data and lack of consensus in published guidelines, a working group was established to put forth an institutional guideline on the management of anticancer extravasations.
Kimmel, J., Fleming, P., Cuellar, S., Anderson, J. and Haaf, C.M. (2017) Pharmacological management of anticancer agent extravasation: A single institutional guideline. Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice. January 1st. [epub ahead of print].
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