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Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs

Version: 3 ID: GL 16-3 Mar 2022
Type of Content: Guidelines & Advice, Clinical
Document Status: Current
K. Kennedy, K. Vu, N. Coakley, J. Daley-Morris, L. Forbes, R. Hartzell, D. Lessels, Nursing Guideline Development Group

Guideline Objective

To provide recommendations regarding the safe handling of hazardous drugs by healthcare workers.

Patient Population

Healthcare workers who may come into contact with hazardous drugs at any point in the medication circuit. The medication circuit includes all steps through which the drug travels, from the receiving dock to the storage facility, as well as its preparation, administration, and disposal. Exposure is possible throughout the medication circuit in the hospital or in the home setting.

Intended Guideline Users

Intended users include, but are not limited to, hospital administrators, educators and managers, occupational health and safety services, pharmacy, nursing, porters, shipping and receiving, medical oncologists, and other healthcare workers.

Research Questions

  1. What are the proper procedures for safe handling of hazardous drugs through the medication circuit?
  2. Are there any adverse health outcomes for healthcare workers who handle hazardous drugs?
  3. Do closed-system transfer devices reduce contamination when used to prepare chemotherapy?
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