05-25-2017 10:51 AM
We have a chemo hood (Thermo Scientific 1300 Series A2). When compounding hazardous drugs, what sort of respirator protection should our techs be wearing? Currently we're wearing a regular surgical mask that we use in our IV room. The chemo hood has a glass window as in the picture link below and we are using PhaSeal closed system transfer device on all chemo (except arsenic because it comes as an ampule). Is it really necessary to use a N95 respirator mask during compounding if we have the glass shield and also using PhaSeal??? From USP 800 "Surgical masks do not provide respiratory protection from drug exposure and should not be used to compound or administer drugs. A surgical N95 respirator provides the respiratory protection of an N95 respirator and the splash protection provided by a surgical mask."
What about unpacking drugs??? USP 800 says "Personnel unpacking HDs that are not contained in plastic should wear an elastomeric half-mask with a multi-gas cartridge and P100-filter.If the type of drug can be better defined, then a more targeted cartridge could be used." Our chemo that comes from our wholesaler is contained in plastic chemotherapy bags in their own tote.
05-31-2017 03:45 PM
Thanks for your patience. I have been on vacation. NIOSH has a great website that you can find lots of information to answer many common questions. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/npptl/topics/respirators/disp_part/respsource3healthcare.html. There is no clear consensus that I have found on the type of masks. It is known that vials and their boxes can be contaminated with trace HD particles and it is my opinion that a N-95 mask is worn when receiving and even compounding HDs. There is NO requirement for this mask but I have been in many HD pharmacies where I get a metallic taste in my mouth and my concern when that happens is that there is contamination in the air. I would error on the side of caution but check out the CDC website. Hope this helps.