Proper Handling of Chemotherapy Spill – Effectively and Safely

Safety protocols are a must in every healthcare system. This applies not only to one department but to most. In terms of chemotherapy medication, handling may have always been a challenge.

It requires the best precision and care to avoid harmful methods for patients and healthcare workers. In that sense, chemotherapy spills are not uncommon. Still, they can pose a maximum threat to anyone who comes into contact with the medication.

That’s why it’s crucial to handle chemotherapy spills correctly. So, in this blog post, we’ll discuss tips on handling chemotherapy spills effectively and safely.

Bloodborne Pathogens Training: Why It’s Crucial

Let’s start with the training that most medical practitioners know by now, shall we?

BBP training is mandatory for all healthcare workers who handle drugs for chemotherapy. The course encourages workers to protect themselves and other infectious diseases that a person may transmit through fluids and blood.

Receiving a BBP course (at least five times) in your career is essential to update you with the latest data, information, and guidelines. BBP training has a wide range of topics. This part includes the risks associated with handling bodily fluids, handling and disposing of hazardous materials, and properly using personal protective equipment (PPE).

It also works on the proper cleaning methods, including chemotherapy spills. The course is crucial as it ensures your workers have the right skills, knowledge, and tools to handle dangerous materials safely.

Steps to Take When a Chemotherapy


Spill Occurs

Acting quickly is the best thing to do when a chemotherapy spill occurs. However, following the proper methods to clean and contain the spill is also essential to avoid any dangers in the future. Here are some ways to take when a chemotherapy spill occurs:

Notify Your Supervisor

When a chemotherapy spill occurs, the first thing to do is to notify your supervisor instantly. From there, your manager will take the best action to contain the spill and ensure everyone is safe. So, ensure to follow your facility’s procedures for reporting spills.

Put on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Putting the PPE to protect yourself from exposure can greatly save your life. So, what’s with the PPE? PPE includes gloves, a gown, and a face mask. Using the ideal PPE material for the situation and following your facility’s guidelines can keep you safe at all costs.

Contain the Spill

Once you have the accurate PPE, you should contain the spill by placing absorbent materials, such as spill pads or towels, over the spill. But also avoid creating aerosols, which can spread dangerous substances through the air. Remember to avoid touching the spill or letting it touch your skin.

Frequently Asked Question


Here’s what most people ask about the proper handling of chemotherapy spills.

What is the best way for a nurse to handle a chemotherapy spill?

Ensure to contain the spill using plastic-backed absorbent sheets or spill pads. If you can, ask for assistance from another expert or trained person who can hold the spill waste disposal bag. This procedure will prevent bag contamination when discarding absorbent pads and other materials inside.

How do you handle and dispose of chemotherapy drugs?

When it comes to chemotherapy drugs, put them in sealable containers, like plastic bags or coffee can. You should mix the medication with the undesirable substance like the cat litter or the used coffee grounds. Remember not to crush the pills, capsules or tablets. Then, you must seal the container and put it in trash and not the recycling.

What should be done first to ensure proper cleanup of a chemotherapy spill?

The whole spill area must have a clean area with a deactivation cleaner. A bleach solution or other cleaner is ideal if nothing else is available. Start from the outside and work towards the epicenter of the spill. This thing will prevent the spreading of any residual chemotherapy or HD residue.

What The Process Tells

Handling chemotherapy spills properly is crucial for the safety of healthcare workers and patients. With Bloodborne Pathogens training, you can ensure workers have the knowledge and skills to handle hazardous materials safely.

So when a chemotherapy spill occurs, your workers can act quickly and follow proper procedures to contain and clean up the spill. Again, that includes notifying your supervisor, putting on PPE, containing the spill, cleaning it up using proper procedures, and disposing of contaminated materials in designated hazardous waste containers.

Like what we mentioned above, simple as that. Following these steps can help prevent the spread of harmful substances and ensure everyone remains safe.

It’s important to remember that handling chemotherapy medications needs high care and attention to detail and that spills can occur even when all precautions are taken.

Key Takeaway


When all of these processes are good, healthcare workers can take steps to prevent spills from occurring in the first place.

This portion may include using spill-proof containers, double-checking labels before administering medications, and avoiding unnecessary movement or jostling of medication containers.

In all its essence, properly handling chemotherapy spills is a crucial component of providing safe and effective healthcare. We hope this blog post helps you and opens your mind to receiving regular BBP training.

With suitable courses like Bloodborne Pathogen training, healthcare workers can help ensure that everyone involved remains safe and protected from harm. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see everyone safe and happy while doing their best in their job?

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