Safe handling of chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of nonmalignant diseases


Intravenous literature: Menonna-Quinn, D. (2013) Safe Handling of Chemotherapeutic Agents in the Treatment of Nonmalignant Diseases. Journal of Infusion Nursing. 36(3), p.198–204.


Chemotherapy administration was once limited to inpatient oncology units. Over time, outpatient facilities, physicians’ private offices, and patients’ homes have become popular areas to administer chemotherapeutic agents. Chemotherapy has been successful in treating malignancies and recently has been proved to be effective in nononcology patients as well. The expanded use of these agents has created the need to amplify safe handling practices among health care providers. Evidence indicates that there is a heightened awareness of safe handling practices and the increased availability of the necessary tools. However, health care professionals resist protecting themselves. To avoid the potential risks associated with working with these agents, it is imperative to appreciate the dangers of these hazardous medications, to adhere to the safety mechanisms, and to use the available safety resources on a daily basis. Continuous education of health care providers is fundamental to ensuring safety and positive outcomes. Safe handling procedures can be implemented by adhering to the current standards and integrating them into policies and procedure manuals at practicing institutions.

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