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.