Nursing Care of Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy Desensitization: Part II

Patricia Jakel

Cynthia Carsten

Arvie Carino

Melinda Braskett

chemotherapy desensitization, rapid drug desensitization, hypersensitivity reactions, adverse drug reactions, infusion reactions
CJON 2016, 20(2), 137-139. DOI: 10.1188/16.CJON.137-139

Chemotherapy desensitization protocols are safe, but labor-intensive, processes that allow patients with cancer to receive medications even if they initially experienced severe hypersensitivity reactions. Part I of this column discussed the pathophysiology of hypersensitivity reactions and described the development of desensitization protocols in oncology settings. Part II incorporates the experiences of an academic medical center and provides a practical guide for the nursing care of patients undergoing chemotherapy desensitization.

At a Glance

  • Since the mid-2000s, studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of desensitization protocols in oncology settings.
  • Desensitization protocols require extremely careful coordination among oncology nurses, oncologists, allergists, and pharmacists.
  • Oncology nurses play central roles in educating patients and caregivers about desensitization, preparing emergency supplies, double-checking orders and dosages, and coordinating workflow.
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