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The Cancer in Pregnancy Forum

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This Forum has been the centre of an exceptional exchange of knowledge diagnosis, treatment, symptoms and other effects of cancer during pregnancy and lactation. All are welcome to review the Questions and Answers posted here, provided that they acknowledge and accept the important proviso and disclaimer below.
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Forum > Cancer - Active Topics: Cancer - Active Topics
Accidental exposure

CCoPE
Date: 2009-04-23

Question:
Pharmacists, and nurses mixing/preparing and admisitering the cytotoxic admixtures for patients regimes are subjected to chemotherapeutics indirectly. The appropriate Personal protection equipment is being used, but accidents can happen, including needlesticks and spillage, inhalaltion if quality of equipment (gloves/masks)questionable, from how long BEFORE conceiving if planning to do so, should the administrators/mixers stop mixing to ensure they do not have any chemo agents in their bodies to ensure a safe pregnancy eliminating this aspect?

Answer:

There are at least fifty different kinds of chemotherapeutic agents on the market, most of them with different half lives and chemical properties. The general recommendation for woman who are receiving these agents for therapeutic purposes is to use contraception throughout their therapy and for a few months after therapy, before conceiving.

With one time accidental exposures, in planning mothers, the risk of malformation is generally low, especially if exposed during the all or none stage (first 2 weeks of pregnancy) which may simply lead to spontaneous abortion. With other inadvertent exposures, the type, form and duration of exposure should be considered, and the pharmacokinetic/dynamic of the drug should be assessed before planning conception.

Pharmacists and nurses dispensing these medications should use precaution, including masks and gloves. Some reports could measure anticancer activity in the urine of exposed nurses. These levels of exposure are extremely unlikely to impose fetal risks.

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