Simplivia Blog

As an innovative company, we keep our eye on the big picture. We focus on new perspectives and leading approaches to healthcare that deliver safety and inspire confidence.

Giving Hazardous Drugs Puts Nurses at High Risk - Here's How To Fix It

Hazardous drug exposure can cause dire health effects for nurses and other healthcare workers—including fertility problems, miscarriages, and cancer. Research shows that in Europe and in the US, exposure to toxic drugs happens to more than 20 million healthcare workers every year, and over 7 million of them are nurses2.

Fortunately, closed administration systems provide an effective solution to the risks nurses face every day.

Chemfort Closed Administration CSTD Hazardous Drugs

What Are the Risks of Hazardous Drug Exposure?

Hazardous drug exposure may cause skin irritation, fertility issues, miscarriages, or cancer. In addition, routine escape of antibiotics into the healthcare environement can promote antibiotic-resistance, making infections harder to treat over time. So while many dangerous drugs can be life-saving for patients, routine exposure to them could be devastating without adequate protection2.

Without a closed system for drug administration, contamination could occur in the environment when aerosols, droplets, or vapors escape. For example, one study revealed the presence of antineoplastic drugs in the urine of workers who handled them, indicating dermal uptake1. So even though we can't always see hazardous drug contamination, its impact can be severe.

Since nurses routinely administer hazardous drugs, safety protocols are vital. Evidence-backed medical devices are an integral part of such protocols. Closed system transfer devices (CSTD), like Simplivia's Chemfort™ closed administration product line, can help staff stay safe on the job every day. With a high-quality closed administration system, they will have a secure and seamless workflow no matter what drugs they are administering.

What is Closed Administration?

By definition, closed system drug-transfer devices are "a drug transfer device that mechanically prohibits the transfer of environmental contaminants into the system and the escape of the hazardous drug or vapor concentrations outside the system6." This means nothing can enter or escape the device during any preparation or workflow stage. Closed administration, achieved by CSTD use, ensures a contained and sterile drug delivery system.

Whenever someone is working with hazardous drugs, they're at risk for exposure — whether transporting, compounding, preparing, or even disposing of them. CSTDs allow the safest possible preparation workflow, from start to finish, including the administration of hazardous drugs.

Given the long-term health risks of hazardous drugs, protecting both healthcare workers and patients from potential exposure is essential. Yet, patient rooms represent a high contamination risk area. For example, 75% of hospital wipe samples showed hazardous drug contamination on surfaces and other public areas1. In wipe tests, IV poles, toilet floors, and a waste cover showed the highest concentration of contamination3. These are all places that both nurses and patients come in contact with throughout the day.

So while anyone working in the vicinity of hazardous drugs needs to take careful precautions, nurses who routinely administer chemotherapeutics benefit the most from a closed administration system.

Chemfort Closed Administration CSTD Hazardous Drugs

What Does Research Say About Using CSTDs?

The USP<800> outlines safe standards and protocols for anyone who handles hazardous drugs8. The standard states that CSTDs are necessary whenever the dosage form of a medication allows4. CSTDs help promote the safest possible work environment, preventing dangerous drugs from leaking into the atmosphere.

Studies show that CSTDs offer increased protection to healthcare staff working with hazardous drugs, from preparation to administration and disposal. In addition, when used as part of a comprehensive drug safety program, CSTDs significantly reduce hazardous drug exposure risk and its associated health effects for healthcare workers and patients6.

While the evidence clearly shows the benefits of using a closed administration system, some studies suggest that most pharmacies use CSTDs in drug preparation, but fewer nurses use them5.

Since oncology nurses work so closely with hazardous drugs, facilities should ensure the CSTDs they choose support nursing workflows. The device should make working more efficient and give nurses peace of mind. In addition, the CSTD needs to be easy to use in a fast-paced treatment environment.

Working Safely and Efficiently with Simplivia's New Chemfort™ Product Line

Simplivia's Chemfort™ Closed Administration system provides simplicity and safety of the highest standard. It's FDA cleared under the ONB product code and CE marked. It also meets the most strict requirements detailed by regulatory bodies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and USP<800>2.

The Chemfort™ Closed Administration System offers:

  • Chemfort™'s proven technology to protect nurses from sharps injuries
  • Safe connection verification -- When connected to other Chemfort™ components, there is an audible click
  • Ensure full dose administration to reduce drug waste
  • Self-sealing elastomers to prevent drug leakage

Chemfort™ is easy to disinfect and reuse multiple times while maintaining absolute sterility. Chemfort™ features a needle-free delivery system, substantially lowering the risk of accidental needle sticks. Viscous drugs are also easy to use with the system, which features a 16G needle bore size3.

Chemfort™'s design is intuitive and easy to use, clicking smoothly into place. Because of this, it requires minimal staff training. The small and lightweight components reduce the chances of pulling on patients' sensitive IV sites3. It is less likely that this device will accidentally disconnect, so nurses can confidently administer chemotherapeutic drugs.

Chemfort Closed Administration CSTD Hazardous Drugs

Safety Is the Top Priority When Handling Hazardous Drugs

At Simplivia, we know how critical it is to protect oncology nurses and anyone who deals with hazardous drugs. We believe occupational safety is of the utmost importance. We are committed to making safety the norm, so nurses can concentrate on providing excellent care for their patients without the risks of hazardous drug exposure.

Contact us today to find out more about Simplivia's innovative Chemfort™ line of  CSTDs and closed administration sets to ensure the safety of nurses, patients, and oncology staff.

2. Chemfort Closed Administration: Unmatched Safety Brilliantly Simple. Simplivia. Simplivia_Nurses_A4_V5.pdf
3. Choose Chemfort Closed Administration. Simplivia.
4. Coyne, J. Ensure Proper CSTD Use. Pharmacy Purchasing & Products.
5. Hazardous Drug Exposure in Healthcare. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Eisenberg, S. Tips for Supporting Nursing's Use of CSTDs. Pharmacy Purchasing & Products.
6. Hazardous Drug Exposure in Healthcare. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


Recent Posts