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Clinical Guidelines (Nursing)

Instruction leaflet for ancillary staff - cytotoxic handling

  • Note: This guideline is currently under review. 

    Cytotoxic containers are purple in colour and are marked like this


    Do not handle unsealed containers

    Industrial work-wear, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) industrial gloves and safety boots should be worn 

    Always wash your hands after handling containers

    • Cytotoxic preparations (in sealed containers) must be transported to and from the wards in the designated container to reduce the risk of spillage.
    • In the event of containers being damaged and spillage occurring, DO NOT attempt to clean the area. Isolate the area and notify nursing staff or oncology pharmacy who will organise the clean up. Inform your supervisor of the spillage.
    • If splashes occur to the eye, immediately flood the eye with water continuously for 15 mins. If splashes occur to skin or clothing, thoroughly rinse area with water and change uniform if splashed. Wash soiled clothing separately with detergent and hot water, rinse well. Following rinsing, the clothing may be washed with other clothing. Report to staff clinic/emergency department for medical review.


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