Nurses Exposed to Toxic Cancer Drugs, Study Finds
Nurses treating cancer patients risk beingِ exposed toِ chemotherapy drugs andِ their toxic effects, according toِ a newِ study.
Unintentional chemotherapy exposure canِ affect theِ nervous system, impair theِ reproductive system andِ bring anِ increased risk ofِ developing blood cancers inِ the future, theِ researchers said.
We haveِ minimized needle stick incidents soِ that theyِ areِ rare events thatِ elicit a robust response fromِ administrators.
The researchers surveyed 1,339 oncology nurses working inِ Michigan inِ outpatient settings.
About 84 percent ofِ chemotherapy isِ delivered inِ such settings, theِ researchers said.
Nurses whoِ wereِ accidentally exposed toِ chemotherapy drugs wereِ moreِ likelyِ to report theirِ workplace hadِ limited staffing andِ resources thanِ those wereِ notِ exposed, theِ study found.
More safety for nurses
Safety guidelines, suchِ asِ recommendations forِ using gowns, gloves andِ other protective gear whenِ handling chemotherapy drugs, haveِ beenِ issued byِ organizations suchِ asِ the National Institute forِ Occupational Safety andِ Health, butِ these guidelines areِ not mandatory, theِ researchers said.
Fewer exposures happened inِ settings whereِ twoِ orِ moreِ nurses wereِ required toِ verify chemotherapy orders, whichِ wasِ suggested byِ the guidelines.
Unlike needle sticks whereِ a specific virus isِ involved andِ preventive treatments canِ beِ given, it’s moreِ difficult toِ directlyِ link a chemotherapy exposure toِ a certainِ health repercussion, theِ study said.