An independent research organisation is calling for more rigorous guidelines around the administration of cytotocix drugs following an alarming discovery in the the healthcare sector.
The recent study from MindMetre has revealed that chemotherapy nurses are at risk from exposure to hazardous drugs, with some reporting significant symptoms as a result of their work, including hair loss and an unusually high rate of miscarriage.
In addition to investigating claims about the effects, the Mindmetre report also considers whether the measurement and monitoring of exposure levels is sufficiently rigorous.
It highlights that the U.S National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines insist on the use of "closed systems" to prevent any escape of hazardous drugs, from the point of preparation to administration and disposal, but also notes that there is no specific European legislation or guidelines for the administration process, despite widespread recognition of contamination risk.
Paul Lindsell, managing director of MindMetre Research, is calling for strict guidelines to be put in place to protect the UK's healthcare staff.
He said: “The evidence strongly suggests that nurses who are regularly administering chemotherapy drugs are at risk of developing health problems as a result of their prolonged exposure to cytotoxic chemicals. It appears that regulation and, more importantly, prevention of the occupational risks that these healthcare workers face is not rigorous enough which raises serious questions of morality.
"As increasing evidence comes to light it has become increasingly apparently that policy makers and experts need to consider closed systems as a vital alternative to current methods of administration, and crucially, there needs to be stricter and more rigorously enforced guidelines in place to ensure the welfare of nurses and patients alike.”
To see the full report please visit: http://www.mindmetreresearch.com/news/whitepapers-reports/