What safety precautions are taken when handling chemotherapy?

Aurora Health Care
Administration
Most chemotherapy drugs are removed from the body mainly through urine, vomit, and stool within the first 48 hours after chemotherapy. During administration of chemotherapy and the 48 hours after treatment, you can expect to see the following pieces of equipment and procedures. The use and practice of these items ensure your safety and the safety of the healthcare team.
  • Chemotherapy wastebasket -- This is a large, covered wastebasket with a label on the side that identifies the contents as cytotoxic/bio-hazardous waste. All disposable items that are contaminated with chemotherapy are placed in this basket after use.
  • Gloves -- All healthcare personnel will use gloves while changing your linens, emptying urine, vomit, or other body fluids. Many of the chemotherapy drugs or their breakdown products are found in those body fluids.
  • Linen hamper -- Linen used by a patient who has received chemotherapy may have become contaminated with body fluids. All linen will be placed in a special linen bag so that it can be handled separately by the laundry service.
  • Urinal bedpan, Specipan, graduate -- All these items are used to either collect or measure your urine. After chemotherapy, your urine may be measured and recorded.
  • Emesis basin -- If you need to vomit, the amount may be measured and recorded.
  • Chemo gown, chemo gloves -- All nursing staff that administers chemotherapy will wear a long-sleeved non-absorbent disposable gown and thick gloves while handling your chemotherapy. Some nurses may also wear protective goggles and face shields. These disposable items will be placed in your chemotherapy wastebasket after use.

Continue Learning about Chemotherapy For Cancer

Chemotherapy For Cancer

Chemotherapy For Cancer

One of three common treatments for cancer, chemotherapy uses drugs to kill or slow down the progression of cancer cells. Different chemotherapy drugs are used for different types of cancers and can be combined with other treatment...

s, like radiation therapy or surgery. Chemotherapy often causes side effects, such as fatigue, nausea and mouth sores. Most side effects subside after treatment ends; however, some side effects can develop late in treatment and cause long-lasting issues, such as heart and kidney problems, or damage to nerve and lung tissue. Make sure to talk to your oncologist early about these potential side effects. To prepare for chemotherapy, ask your doctor for tests to check your heart and liver functions to make sure you are healthy enough to undergo treatment. Once you're ready for treatment, you may receive the drugs intravenously through a port in your chest, orally by taking a pill or through an injection into a muscle.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.