Don't overlook this aspect of handling hazardous drugs


Vicki Pollard, CVT, AIA, explains how hospital design factors into the safety of handling hazardous drugs

Hospital design can factor into the way clinicians and staff handle hazardous drugs. Vicki Pollard, CVT, AIA, explains one area that veterinary professionals might not be thinking about, and it could be compromising staff safety.

View the video below for the entire discussion. The following is a partial transcript.

Vicki Pollard, CVT, AIA: I think that the area that I think people overlook is when the drug comes into the facility, and it's being unpacked. So from the moment it comes in, and somebody opens that box, the person opening the box needs to know very quickly that there's a hazardous drug in that box…in case it's somehow has opened in transit [or] there's…been some type of compromise to the drug as it comes in.

So, I think one of the things that I think is being improved in the industry, from what I understand from working with different hospitals is that some of the major manufacturers [and] pharmaceutical companies who are making the veterinary-specific chemotherapy drugs, they're starting to package them differently. And what I mean by that is, they're labeling them differently. They're not shipping them with other non-hazardous drugs. And so, when they're coming into the facility…it's easier for the staff to recognize that those drugs are indeed hazardous drugs, as opposed to them being…in a box with a whole bunch of other things that somebody might not be as careful when they're opening that box.

So, I think that's one area that's overlooked in general, and that people have not really been focused on and that's an area that is improving right now.

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