Home June 15, 2000
Cytotoxic (Antineoplastic) Drugs Are Being
Administered Outside of OSHA Guidelines
The CNA Professional Performance Committees (PPCs) and Quality Liaisons (QLs) have recently discovered that these drugs are being handled and administered improperly in many Kaiser facilities. The drugs are administered both IM and IV, but without proper mixing precautions, safety precautions during administration, disposal precautions, medical surveillance of personnel, or education of personnel and patients about the potential risks of the drugs.
OSHA guidelines need to be in place for any and all administration of these drugs, no matter what the usage, the dosage or the route of administration. The effect is cumulative.
Methotrexate, an agent normally used as a chemo drug, is often administered in reduced dosages for other purposes. However, it does not matter for what purpose the medication is given, it retains its antineoplastic characteristics and can pose a danger to the staff handling the drug unless certain safety precautions are maintained. Many Kaiser staff are not aware of the proper handling procedures and safety precautions required by OSHA. For example:
OSHA has numerous guidelines for safe handling of these drugs, the most notable are:
Please contact your PPC, Quality Liaison or CNA Labor Rep if you have questions or concerns about the safe handling of drugs you are administering. If you have information or questions please contact CNA Labor Rep Morton Newman at fax number 510-663-1681. Include your name and phone number so we can contact you.