The handling of medically prescribed drugs is a job that requires special attention and caution. A recent study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has found that almost 40 percent of pregnant nurses do not wear protective gowns while administering antineoplastic (chemotherapeutic) drugs.
These drugs, used to treat cancer, are known as having human carcinogenic qualities, making them harmful to those who are not using them for medicinal purposes. Pregnant nurses who do not wear protective gear are putting themselves and their unborn babies at risk. Mothers-to-be who are in direct contact with such powerful drugs are more likely to miscarry or have a child born with birth defects.
Nurses, at the minimum, are required to wear protective gowns and gloves while administering drugs, but according to a research study conducted by the Nurses’ Health Study 3 and published in the American Journal of Nursing, there are nurses who choose not to protect themselves against the harmful drugs. Both pregnant and non-pregnant nurses were assessed during this study, totally 40,000 nurses in the United States and Canada.
After analyzing the survey responses, the research study stated that 42 percent of non-pregnant nurses and 38 percent of pregnant nurses within the Nurses’ Health Study 3 survey never wear gowns while managing antineoplastic drugs. The study also shows that a small percentage of pregnant and non-pregnant nurses do not wear gloves while administering the drugs.
These tendencies are dangerous and can cause health issues for nurses, whether pregnant or not. Safety classes and improved regulations need to be implemented to better maintain healthy working conditions in the medical field.
If you have gotten sick or have had pregnancy complications as a result of toxic drug exposure, the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers of Gross & Kenny, LLP are here to help. Call us at 215-512-1500 or 267-589-0090 or complete an online form. We serve clients in and around the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania.