Cancer nurses across Europe are being encouraged to adopt the new EONS Safety Manifesto to protect them and their patients from the potential health risks of cytotoxic drugs.

With exposure to chemotherapy used in cancer therapies linked to a number of problems ranging from sickness and headaches through to miscarriage and fertility problems*, the key themes for nurses in the EONS Safety Manifesto include:

  • Providing information to patients and their significant others and encouraging them to take an active part in their care
  • Always speaking up and question if something is, or appears to be, wrong
  • Always following safety precautions; use personal protective equipment
  • Avoiding direct contact with cytotoxic and radiation drugs when planning pregnancy or during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Lena Sharp, President of the European Oncology Nurse Society (EONS) said:

“Cancer nurses need to put safety first for their patients and also for themselves.  Managers need to provide resources and conditions that help will promote a strong safety culture.”

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* Simons A and Toland S (2016) Closed systems for drug delivery; a necessity, not an option. British Journal of Nursing (IV therapy supplement) vol 24 no 14