Chemotherapy Precautions and Safety - Why, How and What to do (for Nurses)
Cancer frequently affects our veterinary patients and in recent years chemotherapy has become more commonly utilised treatment. General practices are increasingly prescribing and administering chemotherapy drugs. Chemotherapy drugs are toxic to cells (cytotoxic) interfering with the normal cell life cycle which results in cell death. Cancer cells are targeted by these drugs however they are not specific for cancer cells and healthy tissue can be affected.
Chemotherapy drugs are also carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic and abortifacient. It is important that these drugs are handled safely. Personnel handling of chemotherapeutic drugs have been found to have increased risks of infertility, early pregnancy loss or urinary excretion of these drugs. This webinar will discuss the safety precautions necessary for handling chemotherapy agents and will focus on the recent consensus guidelines produced by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in January 2018 to raise awareness of risks and how we can reduce the exposure within clinics.
If time permits, common side effects (neutropaenia, thorombocytopaenia and gastrointestinal side effects) caused by chemotherapy will be explained as well as precautions for handling such patients.
Recording from 8 August 2019
Momoko Ito. Veterinary Nurse (VTS, oncology)
Momoko is from Japan and moved to Brisbane in 2006. She completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at the University of Queensland in 2011. She has worked in general practice before working at Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre. She started as a full-time rotating nurse at BVSC in 2011, then became BVSC's Primary Chemotherapy Nurse in 2013. Momoko also volunteered at the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital every Saturday for one year as well as taking casual shits at the BVECCS Emergency Centre.
In June 2018, Momoko passed the exam to become a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Oncology accredited by the Academy of Internal Medicine Veterinary Technicians in the US. She is currently the first and the only VTS (Oncology) in Australia. Her daily goal is to give our patients the best attentions and care, and also to be the better communication bridge between owners and veterinarians to achieve a good quality of life in cancer patients. Her interest is not only limited to Oncology but also Internal Medicine and Feline Behaviour and Handling.
Momoko grew up with 4-6 cats. She admits being a crazy cat lady who also loves dogs. She enjoys yoga, indoor soccer and occasional hiking.