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Chemotherapy Extravasation: Incidence of and Factors Associated With Events in a Community Cancer Center

Nancy J. Ehmke
CJON 2021, 25(6), 680-686 DOI: 10.1188/21.CJON.680-686

Background: The administration of chemotherapy is a high-risk and nurse-sensitive practice. One complication is extravasation.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the incidence of and iatrogenic factors associated with extravasation in the ambulatory and inpatient settings of a community cancer center.

Methods: Events were reviewed by agent, route of administration, patient characteristics, and RNs administering the agent. A one-year, retrospective review of electronic health records and pharmacy and nursing reports was conducted.

Findings: The number of vesicants, irritants, and irritants with vesicant properties administered was 12,260 in the ambulatory setting and 612 on the inpatient unit, with 21 and 1 extravasation events, respectively. Incidence rates for both settings were 0.001%. The most common agent to extravasate was docetaxel, and all events occurred via peripheral route. The incidence of events was lower than the reported benchmark for National Cancer Institute–designated cancer centers.

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