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Cancer Nurs. 1994 Dec;17(6):501-11.

Safe handling of antineoplastic drugs. Results of a survey.

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Academic Medical Center/Comprehensive Cancer Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


As research continues to highlight the risks involved in handling antineoplastic drugs, the health services are giving increased attention to safety measures. In order to establish what protective measures nursing staff employ and what they know about antineoplastic drugs, a survey was carried out in The Netherlands. The questions were based on the self-study modules by Dunne and the (American) Oncology Nursing Society. A total of 1,373 questionnaires were distributed in 10 hospitals. Of these, 824 were returned, which represents a response rate of 60%. Over two-thirds (68%) of the nursing staff reported that they were involved, on a daily or weekly basis, in caring for patients being treated with antineoplastic drugs. In the view of 94% of the nurses, protective measures are effective. While administering antineoplastic drugs, 91% of the respondents said that they wore gloves, 21% said that they wore a gown, 18% wore a mask, and 3% used goggles. While handling excreta, fewer nurses applied safety measures. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents knew that latex gloves offer a greater degree of protection than PVC gloves. It appeared that there was not one Dutch hospital whose guidelines for the safe handling of antineoplastic material were completely up-to-date and that nurses do not always follow the guidelines established.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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