Safety at home after chemotherapy or when taking chemotherapy tablets home
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When I go home after chemotherapy
There are precautions that you need to take if you go home after having chemotherapy or if you go home with a chemotherapy pump. This is because some of the by-products of chemotherapy
come out of your body in your urine and faeces for a short time after your treatment. The following is a list of precautions you need to take.
o Flush the toilet twice for a few days after you have had chemotherapy.
o Wear rubber gloves to clean up any spills for example; urine, faeces, vomit or chemotherapy from your pump.
o Wear rubber gloves to handle linen, cleaning cloths or clothing that is contaminated by urine, faeces, vomit or chemotherapy from your pump.
o Wash this linen, cleaning cloths or clothing in your washing machine once on a long cycle. You don’t need any special type of washing detergent.
Place the rubber gloves in a plastic bag. Tie up the bag and put into the rubbish bin. Wash your hands well with soap and water. If you accidently get chemotherapy from your pump on your skin, rinse and wash with soapy water and contact the 1090 bleep.
MAKE SURE IF YOU ARE UNWELL AND ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL THAT YOU SHOULD STOP TAKING YOUR CHEMOTHERAPY TABLETS. THE ONCOLOGY TEAM WILL REVIEW YOU
AND RESTART THE MEDICATION ACCORDINGLY.
What about chemotherapy tablets at home?
When you have cancer treatment you may be given many different tablets some for the side effects and some may be chemotherapy tablets or capsules. The chemotherapy tablets or capsules have some special precautions.
Tablets or capsules
o Keep out of reach of children
o If someone else is giving you the chemotherapy tablets or capsules they should not touch them. They could tip them into a medicine cup or wear disposable gloves.
o Chemotherapy tablets or capsules should always be swallowed whole, never crushed or chewed. If this is not possible please contact the Oncology /Macmillan Unit.
o If you vomit after taking your chemotherapy tablets or capsules, do not take another dose. Contact the Oncology/Macmillan Unit.
o Make sure you know how many chemotherapy tablets or capsules to take for the course of chemotherapy.
o Return any unused tablets or capsules to the Oncology/Macmillan Unit.
DO NOT FLUSH TABLETS OR CAPSULES DOWN THE TOILET OR THROW INTO THE RUBBISH BIN
If you take too many tablets or capsules by mistake please contact the Oncology/Macmillan Unit. It is recommended that anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding does not handle any chemotherapy medications or waste products. Try to get someone else to do it.
Dougherty, L and Lister, S (eds). (2015) The Royal Marsden Manual of Nursing Procedures. 9th Ed, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.
Important telephone numbers
Oncology Suite: 01908 660033 EXT 86431.
Macmillan Unit: 01908 660033 EXT 86561
Emergency contact number01908660033 and ask to bleep 1090.