Antineoplastic drug exposure in an ambulatory setting: a pilot study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Friese, CR; McArdle, C; Zhao, T; Sun, D; Spasojevic, I; Polovich, M; McCullagh, MC

Published Date

  • March 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 38 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 111 - 117

PubMed ID

  • 24831047

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4232489

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1538-9804

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/NCC.0000000000000143


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States