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Do you need a cytotoxic spill kit & sharps container in your pharmacy?

February 20, 2019
Quality improvement can help your pharmacy to safely handle hazardous drugs.

ACP’s pharmacy practice consultants (PPCs) are reminding pharmacy licensees that they need to have a cytotoxic spill kit and a cytotoxic sharps container on site. The PPCs have observed that most pharmacies that administer hazardous drugs do not have adequate cytotoxic spill kits and are not disposing of hazardous sharps appropriately.

Item 6 of the Guidelines for Medication and Vaccine Injection Safety reminds pharmacy professionals of the requirements:

(d.) Cytotoxic spill kits are available, and staff are trained in spill management.

(f.) Hazardous drug waste and equipment are disposed at point‐of‐use into a cytotoxic waste container with minimal manipulation (e.g., needles and syringes are left intact).

To help pharmacies ensure their cytotoxic spill kits contain the appropriate equipment, links to two resources have been provided. One document is from Work Safe BC, titled Best Practices for the Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs. The other from ASSTSAS is called Prevention Guide, Safe Handling of Hazardous Drugs.

PPCs are also finding that some pharmacies are only equipped with one type of sharps container. The “cytotoxic waste container,” referred to in ACP’s guidance document, is different than the sharps containers used in most pharmacies.

Cytotoxic Sharps must go in a cytotoxic waste container as these sharps have a different process for disposal destruction than regular sharps.

Be careful when selecting a cytotoxic waste container; you can’t always tell by the colour of the container (some are red, others are yellow). The specifications are outlined in the above resources.