Chemotherapy Exposure Safety Tips


After chemotherapy the drug remains present in body fluids for 48 to 72 hours after the treatment ends. The drug can be released in saliva, sweat, semen, vaginal secretion, breast milk, as well as urine, stool and vomit. The drug can be spilled with home infusion and if spilled, it can be absorbed through the skin or the vapors can be inhaled. Exposure to body fluids or the chemo drug itself can cause dizziness, pain, rash, headaches, vomiting and other allergic reactions.


Let's face it chemotherapy is a strong medicine that can be harmful to healthy people which is why it is so important to take safety precautions.


Chemotherapy Safety Tips In The Home

  • Have the person receiving chemo use one toilet leaving the other toilets for guest and family.

  • Have a supply of disposable rubber gloves for all clean up and contact with body fluid. Seal used gloves and cleaning cloths in a plastic bag before placing in the trash bin.

  • After toilet use close the lid and flush twice. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly with soap and water.

  • When using a bedside commode or bedpan, gloves should be worn for emptying, cleaning and disaffecting.

  • Wear gloves for vomit clean up and when handling clothing, linens, or any items soiled with body fluids.

  • Wash items soiled with body fluids in a separate load.

  • Wash eating and drinking utensils solely used by the person receiving chemotherapy in the dishwasher or use disposable items.

  • Avoid open mouth kissing due to the drug being passed through saliva.

  • If medication is spilled on the skin, wash the area immediately with soap and running water. Contact the hospital if there are any signs of redness or irritation within the hour.

  • Do not chew or crush chemotherapy tablets. If you are unable to swallow the tablet whole, talk to your doctor about other options.

Keep in mind that chemotherapy is the delivery of toxic drugs into the body with the sole purpose of killing rapidly developing cancer cells. This is why the oncology staff wear gloves, goggles, gowns, and sometimes masks. These all help to reduce the risk of exposure. Receiving chemo as an outpatient is much more common than in the past however simple precautions need to be taken to ensure that everyone in the home is safe.


Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care assistance, Easy Living Services, Inc. We have supported Atlanta families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled and safe at home since 1994. At Easy Living, we offer flexible care plans designed to assure, comfort, and provided personal attention to your loved one.

Call us at 770-442-8664 or visit our website: www.easylivingservices.com

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