Cancer Nursing

Skip Navigation LinksHome > March/April 2015 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 > Antineoplastic Drug Exposure in an Ambulatory Setting: A Pil...
Cancer Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000143

Antineoplastic Drug Exposure in an Ambulatory Setting: A Pilot Study

Friese, Christopher R. PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN; McArdle, Cristin MPH; Zhao, Ting PhD; Sun, Duxin PhD; Spasojevic, Ivan PhD; Polovich, Martha PhD, RN, AOCN; McCullagh, Marjorie C. PhD, RN, PHCNS-BC, COHN-S

Collapse Box


Background: Exposure to antineoplastic drugs confers health risks to workers, yet little is known about the exposure after a drug spill, nor has the relationship between exposure and organizational factors such as staffing and work environment been studied.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate drug spills prospectively using biological measures and correlate drug spills with organizational factors.

Methods: Prospective questionnaires with 8-hour timed urine samples were collected from nursing and pharmacy personnel who reported drug spill events in 1 academic health center’s infusion center. Urine was collected similarly from workers who did not report a spill. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry techniques identified detectable drug levels. After the prospective sampling period, workers were surveyed on workloads, practice environment, and safety behaviors.

Results: From 81 eligible individuals, 40 participated in the prospective study and 19 completed retrospective questionnaires. Four spills were reported by 9 personnel, as multiple employees were exposed to drug spills. Four participants who reported a spill showed detectable levels of antineoplastic drugs. Four participants who did not report a spill had detectable levels of docetaxel. Compared with respondents who did not report a spill, collegial relations with physicians were significantly poorer for workers who reported spills.

Conclusions: The study protocol successfully captured drug spill reports and biological samples. Workers have detectable levels of antineoplastic drugs through both drug spills and environmental contamination.

Implications for Practice: Multisite research studies and practice-based quality improvement approaches are needed to improve adherence to personal protective equipment use and safe handling procedures.

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved


Article Tools


Article Level Metrics

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.