Environmental Assessment of Cytotoxic Drugs in Oncology Departments of UAE Hospitals
Laila Al Alawi1, Khalid S. Balaraj2, Mohamed Abuhaleeqa3, Michal Grivna1, Fatima Al-Maskari1, 4, Aisha M. Alsalami3, Maria Aamir2, Eleftheria C. Economidou5, Elpidoforos S. Soteriades6, 7, *
Our study aimed to conduct an environmental assessment study of hazardous drugs in two Oncology Centers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Cytotoxic drugs (CDs) represent potential hazards for healthcare professionals in oncology departments. Significant concerns are associated with the detection of CDs in many healthcare settings.
Our study aimed to assess the potential workplace contamination of oncology centers of two UAE hospitals with ten frequently used cytotoxic drugs.
Wipe samples were obtained from workplace areas of two Oncology Centers, including clinical, drug preparation (pharmacy) and administration areas (oncology wards). Potential contamination with cyclophosphamide (CP), ifosphamide (IF), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and other cytotoxic drugs was examined using internationally accredited laboratory methods.
A total of 79 samples were analyzed. In 11 samples (14%), we detected and quantified at least one cytotoxic drug. Additionally, 5 samples (6.5%) indicated contamination by more than one cytotoxic drug in both hospitals, mainly in the Oncology pharmacy department. The contamination levels in the positive samples ranged from 0.006 to 50 ng/cm2.
The overall percentage of sample contamination at both Oncology Centers was relatively low compared to other centers worldwide. In addition, the detected levels of contamination with cytotoxic drugs were very low, with the exception of the workspace inside and around the biological safety cabinet.
This is the first study conducted in the United Arab Emirates examining the potential environmental contamination with cytotoxic drugs in oncology hospital settings.
Correspondence: Address correspondence to this author at the Open University of Cyprus, School of Economics and Management, Healthcare Management Program 33, Giannou Kranidioti Ave 2220, Latsia, Nicosia, Cyprus; Tel: + 357 22411956; Fax: + 357 22411794; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org