HPE HPE 85 – Spring 2017 - Page 8

Symposium report Risk prevention in hospital pharmacy The handling of cytotoxic drug injections and compounding of parenteral nutrition solutions are both high-risk activities but pharmacists are in a strong position to implement safety measures and effective error-reduction strategies Chemical contamination In recent years the workload for hospital pharmacists has increased but there has been no additional funding to help pharmacies cope with this pressure, according to Klaus Meier (President of the European Society for Oncology Pharmacy (ESOP). For example, there will be 23.6 million new cases of cancer worldwide by 2030 – 68% more than in 2012. There is also increasing use of antineoplastic drugs and in 2015 the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) added 34 drugs to its list of potentially hazardous agents. All of this increases the need for safety and efficiency in the pharmacy. There are not only risks to patients but also to staff – in fact, exposure to chemical or biological substances is one of the major workplace risks for healthcare personnel, he emphasised. The unintended exposure of a healthcare professional to hazardous drugs is often described as ‘chemical contamination’. It can lead to acute effects such as skin disorders, allergic reactions and hair loss and chronic effects including adverse reproductive events and, possibly, cancer. The management of safe handling procedures (MASHA) project (see Box) involves