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Study Finds Cancer Center’s Patient and Staff Bathrooms Contaminated by Chemo Agents

While chemotherapy drugs are powerful in fighting various types of cancer, they can be hazardous if an individual is exposed to them outside of the realm of treatment. Recent study results presented at the 2020 Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Bridge virtual conference demonstrate that these kind of drug encounters may very likely occur in hospital or clinic bathrooms.

Nurse researchers at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance started a quality improvement project that analyzed the degree of contamination in both the patient and staff bathrooms at an ambulatory comprehensive cancer center. Specifically, they were testing for the two most common chemotherapy agents: 5FU and oxaliplatin.

“We did this project back in October and November of last year, and we had a couple of goals in mind. One was to take a look at the amount of contamination. We assumed that we were going to see some in patient bathrooms. Then as

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