EONS Work on Safety

One of the objectives of the EONS Advocacy Working Group (WG) is to raise awareness on safety in cancer care across Europe, and the WG is currently exploring what is being done in this very important area – considering which organisations we could work with and examining the current situation is countries across Europe. By ‘safety’ we mean both occupational safety and patient safety, and an article in the magazine of the European Parliament has highlighted the risks we face at work and is calling for more action.

The European Parliament has also published policy recommendations on preventing occupational exposure to cytotoxic and other hazardous drugs in 2016.

Scientific data confirm that sporadic exposure affects nurses more than pharmacists and pharmacy technicians1. Surveys, involving primarily with nurses, have associated workplace exposures to cytotoxic drugs with acute health effects and/or chronic effects2.

With all these factors in mind, EONS plans to make a difference in this area. Further updates regarding the actions EONS is taking to campaign in this area will appear on this page.

EONS Survey on Patient and Occupational Safety

Cancer nurses play a pivotal role within the multi-professional team in the safe delivery and management of cancer therapies. Nurses who come in to contact with cytotoxic agents during preparation, administration, nursing care and cleaning are at risk of exposure. Current practice and guidelines for occupational safety and access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) vary between countries and organisations. As a part of EONS’ strategic work on patient and occupational safety, we are collecting information from European cancer nurses to gain knowledge on all aspects of occupational safety.

The data from this survey will be analysed and presented as a report, and in future congresses. The data will be collected and presented anonymously. Your contribution will be extremely valuable for our future work on safety for nurses and patients in cancer care and we therefore hope that you will take a few minutes to take this survey.

For any questions or comments regarding the survey, please contact working.groups@cancernurse.eu.

1. Villarini M, Dominici L, Piccinini R, Fatigoni C, Ambrogi M, Curti G, Morucci P, Muzi G, Monarca S, Moretti M. 2011. “Assessment of primary, oxidative and excision repaired DNA damage in hospital personnel handling antineoplastic drugs”. Mutagenesis 2011;26:359e69. Available at http://mutage.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/3/359.long

2. Connor TH, McDiarmid MA. 2006. “Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic Drugs in Health Care Settings”. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 56: 354-365. Available at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/canjclin.56.6.354/full.