What were we asked to look at?
NHS Forth Valley asked us to review the evidence on the effectiveness of closed-system transfer-devices (CSTDs) in reducing the risk of exposure to hazardous anti-cancer drug treatments in healthcare professionals (all relevant staff groups including pharmacy, nursing and cleaning staff), patients and their visitors.
Why is this important?
Individuals who come into contact with anti-cancer drugs during their manufacture, transportation, distribution, administration and disposal, can be exposed to low dose cytotoxic effects from leaks, spills and aerosol dispersion of the drugs. Exposure to cytotoxic drugs can have short-, medium- and long-term adverse health effects. CSTDs are designed to mechanically prohibit the transfer of environmental contaminants into the system, and the escape of hazardous drug or vapor concentrations outside the device. Therefore, implementation of CSTDs may reduce the risk of exposure to cytotoxic drugs.
What was our approach?
We produced an Evidence Synthesis to assess the published evidence on the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of CSTDs, including a review of guidelines for the safe handling of hazardous drugs.
NHS Forth Valley and other health boards may use the findings of this evidence synthesis to inform the development of practice recommendations for implementation of CSTDs when handling hazardous anti-cancer drugs.
Read the full document here.
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