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Nearly 8 Million Healthcare Personnel Come In Contact With Chemotherapy Drugs, According To CDC

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J., April 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has classified chemotherapy drugs – which are designed to be toxic and highly absorbable in order to fight cancers – as hazardous since the 1980s, there are insufficient federal or state regulations to limit healthcare workers' exposure to these substances. To help raise awareness of the risks healthcare providers face when handling the more than 150 drugs classified as hazardous by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Safe Handling Awareness Month is acknowledged annually in April, and National Safe Handling Awareness Day is recognized on April 20.

In recognition of National Safe Handling Awareness Month, BD Medical – a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company – is hosting a complimentary webinar on the dangers associated with exposure to hazardous drugs. The online event – "Hazardous Drug Exposure: Case-Based Approach to Minimizing Occupational Risk" – examines actual cases of healthcare workers who handle hazardous drugs and explores standards and safety measures to help prevent occupational exposure from occurring.

"Scientific research has demonstrated that exposure to hazardous drugs can result in a broad spectrum of adverse health consequences ranging from mild skin irritations, allergic reactions, miscarriage and infertility to leukemia and other cancers," said Lynne Kelley, MD, Worldwide Vice President, Medical Affairs, BD Medical – Medical Surgical Systems. "Providing education to healthcare professionals about these risks is an important step in helping ensure that they can take the necessary precautions to reduce harmful exposure."

The webinar will broadcast live on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, at 12 p.m. & 8 p.m. ET, and can be accessed at www.pharmacytimes.com/DrugSafety. Participation in this webinar is limited and available on a first-come basis. Both airtimes will be followed by a live Q&A with the presenters:
  • Byron G. Peters, RPh, Director, Washington University Cancer Center Pharmacy, Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, Washington University Medical School St. Louis, MO
  • Mikaela M. Olson, MS, RN, AOCNS Oncology and Hematology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD

For those unable to attend live, an audio recording will be available on demand two weeks after the event. The webinar is co-sponsored by Pharmacy Times Office of Professional Education and Dannemiller and is supported by an educational grant from BD.

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