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FAQ About Cstds & The NIOSH Protocol

by Faith Perkins

Have you decided to focus your skills as a physician on working with cancer patients? Although treating cancer patients is one of the most rewarding careers in the medical industry, it also means that you will be exposed to hazardous chemotherapy drugs. The drugs are powerful because they are needed for effectively killing off cancerous cells. It is important for you to ensure that closed-system transfer devices (CSTDs) that meets the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) protocol are stored in your clinic for safety purposes. Browse the content below to learn more about treating cancer patients and the importance of CSTDs and hazardous drug handling.

What is the NIOSH Protocol?

The NIOSH protocol is in place to ensure that the CSTDs are actually able to function as they should. For instance, the purpose of the devices is to decrease the risk of you being exposed to the dangerous fumes of the chemotherapy drugs that will be administered to patients. The devices are also great for preventing exposure to other harmful drugs. Basically, the devices must eliminate the amount of fumes and drugs that are able to escape from the intravenous solution bags as per the NIOSH protocol. The devices can also reduce the risk of environmental contaminants getting into your patients drug solutions.

What Kind of CSTDs Are Available?

There are several types of CSTDs that you can choose between for your clinic. Being that chemotherapy drugs are so hazards and can emit fumes into the air, choose CSTDs that are highly secure when it comes to locking into place. For example, there are devices without needles that will making a clicking sound when they are locked into place. The devices also have a lower risk of accidentally becoming unlocked as with the needle models. However, you can purchase several models in case they are needed down the line.

Where Can CSTDs Be Purchased?

You should be able to find CSTDs at medical supply and equipment stores. The stores might be available in your town, or you can simply shop online for what you need. Just make sure that the devices purchase are able to meet the NIOSH protocol, as there will be numerous types to available. The ones that are unable to meet the NIOSH protocol are likely to allow a larger amount of hazardous fumes to escape. It is worth making sure your CSTDs are up the the NIOSH standards, even if you have to pay a little more money for them.