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Make Your Home Safe For Chemotherapy Patients 

Make Your Home Safe For Chemotherapy Patients 

In order for chemotherapy to have a higher chance of success, cytotoxic spillages must be immediately dealt with. This is the first step to ensuring a chemo room which is safe for both patient and visitors. Doctors need to talk through spillages with their patients and the patient must take responsibility for creating a safe environment. This is a three step process: firstly, medication must be properly stored to prevent spillages. Secondly, spills should be cleaned up effectively and immediately. Finally, patients should keep in touch with their medical staff and report any safety breaches. While chemo rooms should of course be beautiful, read on to find out how you can also make them safe.

Storing Medication

Chemo medication is extremely powerful and designed to kill rapidly dividing cells. If this is taken by a healthy person, then it could end up killing healthy cells and causing harm. Therefore, you need to make sure that chemotherapy pills are kept in a separate, and ideally locked, cabinet. This way, if they spill, they won’t be mistaken for other medication.

Keep medication well organized and in good lighting so that it is easy to read the label. Taking the wrong medication or in the wrong order can interfere with the chemotherapy process. Always use safety seals and keep medication out of the reach of children or animals. Chemotherapy medication needs to be treated with extra care over and above that of traditional pain medication. It is a powerful tool for killing cancer cells and could be deadly if taken by the wrong person.

Spill Kits

Occasionally, there will inevitably be spills. The cytotoxic chemicals stored in medication are dangerous, so cleaning up immediately is essential. To help you do this, obtain a spill kit. This may be provided by the hospital or may have to be assembled yourself. A spill kit comprised of disposable cloths, gloves, a plastic apron and plastic bags should be kept in every room that a spill could occur. Practice cleaning up other spills as quickly as you can. Being fast and efficient is the key to stopping the spread of toxic and harmful chemicals.

Keeping in Touch With Medical Staff

In order to ensure peace of mind, you need easy access to medical staff. This way, if anything goes wrong, you can receive immediate help. There are systems for those with medical conditions which are designed to alert health professionals to a patient’s needs and get someone round as soon as possible. On average, first responders will arrive within seven minutes. With an alert system in place, you won’t even need to waste time dialing 911.

When it comes to creating a chemo room, safety should be your first priority. That’s not to say that you can’t create a beautiful and pleasant environment, but it needs to be tailored around principles of health and safety. Keep medications separated and sealed to reduce the chances of a spillage in the first place. Just in case of an accident, keep several spill kits around and feel confident using them. Having close contact with medical staff is an extra precaution that should not be overlooked. 

 

By Jane Sandwood

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