Healthcare workers at risk from chemotherapy drugs


There are insufficient federal or state regulations to limit healthcare workers' exposure to chemotherapy drugs, which are designed to be toxic and highly absorbable in order to fight cancers.

That is the view of Dr Lynne Kelley, worldwide vice president, medical affairs, BD Medical.

To help raise awareness of the risks healthcare providers face when handling the more than 150 drugs classified as hazardous and in recognition of National Safe Handling Awareness Month, medical technology company BD Medical has hosted a complimentary webinar on the dangers associated with exposure to hazardous drugs.

The webinar, called ‘Hazardous drug exposure: case-based approach to minimizing occupational risk’, examines actual cases of healthcare workers who handle hazardous drugs and explores standards and safety measures to help prevent occupational exposure from occurring. It is available on demand until May 1 2013 at:

“Scientific research has demonstrated that exposure to hazardous drugs can result in a broad spectrum of adverse health consequences ranging from mild skin irritations, allergic reactions, miscarriage and infertility to leukaemia and other cancers,” said Kelley. “Providing education to healthcare professionals about these risks is an important step in helping ensure that they can take the necessary precautions to reduce harmful exposure.”

The webinar is presented by Byron Peters, director, Washington University Cancer Center Pharmacy and Mikaela Olson, Oncology and Hematology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD.

BD Medical, healthcare, cancer, risk management, chemotherapy drugs, safety, medication