Urgent need to improve the safety of chemotherapy ward personnel in hospitals

Document Type : Letter to The Editor


Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Cytotoxic and hazardous drugs, which mainly include chemotherapeutic agents,(1) have serious well-known side effects. Where we deliberately use these medicines to save the patient's life, these side effects are acceptable. But now we know that the treatment staff who are occupationally exposed to chemotherapeutic agents are at risk of contamination, which can be avoided. There are several reports on the occurrence of acute complications due to contamination with cytotoxic drugs among the personnel of oncology departments. The safety situation of oncology hospitals and clinics is worrying and should be addressed urgently and the health of the personnel should be prioritized. However, it seems that the main problem is not lack of equipment nor financial resources, but lack of attention and understanding the importance of safety. Paying attention to the safety issue not only reduces future financial costs, but can also prevent human disasters. In order to reduce the exposure risk and make the workplace safer for personnel, a combination of measures and controls must be taken.


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