Hazardous Drug Contamination: Presence of Bathroom Contamination in an Ambulatory Cancer Center

Seth Eisenberg

Kimberly Ito

Angela Rodriguez

hazardous drugs, contamination, safe handling, ambulatory cancer center
CJON 2021, 25(2), 151-156. DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.151-156

Background: Many hazardous drugs (HDs) are excreted in urine and feces, and evidence has shown that bathrooms of patients receiving chemotherapy at home are contaminated with HDs. However, little information exists on bathroom contamination in ambulatory clinics where HDs are administered.

Objectives: This project aimed to determine the presence of HD residue in the patient and staff bathrooms of an ambulatory cancer center.

Methods: A quality improvement project was initiated to examine potential contamination by the HDs 5-fluorouracil and oxaliplatin in a patient bathroom and a secured badge-access staff bathroom in the infusion department of an ambulatory comprehensive cancer center. Twice-daily wipe testing was conducted on the floor in front of the toilet and the flush handle for five consecutive days.

Findings: Sixty-five percent of the samples from the floor of the patient bathroom were positive for at least one of the HDs. In the staff bathroom, 35% of the floor samples were positive for at least one HD. None of the flush handle samples were above the level of detection.

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