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Chemotherapy Extravasations: Prevention, Identification, Management, and Documentation

Tulia Gonzalez
CJON 2013, 17(1), 61-66 DOI: 10.1188/13.CJON.61-66

The nurses' role in safe and effective practice of chemotherapy administration is paramount. The purpose of this article is to present nurses administering chemotherapy with evidence-based information useful in eliminating or reducing the severity of an injury from a chemotherapy extravasation. Nurse education is essential to prevent, recognize, manage, and document chemotherapy extravasations. The classification of the cytotoxic drug and its mechanism of action is useful when selecting the IV access device and also will direct the nurse's intervention to manage the injury. The Oncology Nursing Society's Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice and the drug manufacturer are the best sources offering pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic recommendations. The nurse's best ally in the prevention, prompt recognition, and management of an extravasation is the educated patient. Documenting chemotherapy extravasation is another important step to guide the treatment plan; therefore, the document must provide complete details and the extent of the event.

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