Hazardous drugs are drugs that pose a potential health risk to healthcare workers – such as veterinarians – and patients who may be exposed during preparation or administration of the drug. Drugs can be considered hazardous if they meet one or more of the following criteria:Безопасные SEO эксперименты
To limit the risks of exposure and ensure maximum safety for you and your patients, it’s important to understand and address possible environmental contamination with hazardous drugs, how to limit potential for exposure, and implementation of guidelines and safety programs in your office.
Environmental Contamination with Hazardous Drugs
Preparation and prevention are the best ways to address potential risks associated with the handling of hazardous drugs. Procedures must be put in place for accidental spill and worker contamination after hazardous drug exposure. Precautions such as protective gloves and eye gear, hazardous waste disposal stations, and posted instructions on what to do in case of a spill are an excellent place to start in the workplace. The Environmental Protection Agency discusses the disposal of hazardous drugs and offers many resources covering how to dispose of these drugs safely and efficiently.
Drugs listed by the EPA as “hazardous” and which are often used in veterinary facilities include:
The drugs listed above all require handling, containment, and disposal as a hazardous waste. This is not an exhaustive list of hazardous drugs. You should always ask your pharmacist if the drugs you’re prescribing require any special care or handling.
Potential for Exposure
When reconstituting or compounding hazardous drugs, there is always the possibility of leakage and contamination of work surfaces, which leads to accidental exposure. It is important that personnel are properly trained, because drug exposure can result in drug absorption through the skin or respiratory system. Exposure to hazardous drugs can cause a variety of serious health problems from skin rashes to infertility to death. Using personal protective equipment including but not limited to gloves, lab coats, gown, mask, etc. is crucial to prevent accidental exposures and protect your team from unwanted side-effects.
Guidelines for Safety Programs
Policies and procedures should be in place for the safe handling of hazardous drugs in any facility where they are utilized. Post instructions and diagrams in clearly labeled and highly visible areas in case of emergency. Drugs that require safe handling practices should be clearly labeled as such at all times to avoid misdiagnosis and improper handing. Care should be taken to separate hazardous drug inventory from other drugs to prevent accidental exposure and potential drug errors. Having a separate shelf – or better yet, a separate case – for these medications can drastically reduce the risks of accidental exposure.
It is important that all healthcare providers and patients receiving hazardous drugs are aware of how to handle these medications appropriately to reduce accidental exposure. It is also important for everyone’s safety that drugs are disposed of properly using EPA approved procedures and containers. Be aware of hazardous drugs that you deal with regularly and make sure that policies and procedures are in place to protect healthcare workers and patients alike. Let Essential Pharmacy Compounding help minimize the risk to your veterinary healthcare workers by prescribing hazardous medications vs. in-office compounding or dispensing.