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Gina Ward
nursing care of patients post chemo

I know our list serve is not related to this topic, but I realize some of you may be giving chemo.  We now have a oncologist who is giving chemo in his office.  The problem is, we havent dealt with the  care of the patient recieving chemo for atleast 15 years.  We are now getting patients in for surgery, access, meds, wound care etc that have recently recieved chemo drugs.  

What are the current safety practices regarding their care , for the safety of  the patient, roomates in the room and staff.  I remember there used to be a protocol where you couldnt have surgery or the OR staff couldnt be exposed to the blood without having the potential for chemo exposure if under a certain amount of time.(lab draws, iv starts,for potential exposure) I am aware of the need for accurate blood count monitoring etc...  It is the safety issues that are our question.    Something about different restrooms, or certain type of cleaning after patient use etc...   

Please point me in some direction to gather accurate data.  We have tried to ask for info from other facilities but it is so varied the responses we get.   

thanks in advance,  Gina Ward R.N., CPAN

Donna Fritz
Oncology Nursing Society has
Oncology Nursing Society has just issued their 3rd edition (2009) of Chemotherapy/Biotherapy Guidelines that would probably answer 99% of your questions about care of these patients.  It sounds like your issue is immediate post chemo safety considerations for blood/body fluid exposure of staff or other patients, correct?  Safety precautions are needed for 48 hrs post administration--MOST chemo drugs have been excreted by them.  That doesn't mean you can't do lab draws, etc., but need to protect yourself. and go under publications
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