Nurses in oncology having stillborns

  1. Hi, I'm a student in a BSN-RN program and am really interested in oncology nursing. I decided to do my summer externship on an oncology inpatient unit until a friend of mine who works on an oncology unit told me that she knows of 3 nurses on her floor in the past year or so who have had stillborns.
    Would that make any sense? Assuming they were handling the chemo properly, could there be any correlation? Or can you be harmed from chemo by touching the pt, etc? I wouldn't imagine so, but I'm no expert. My fiance and I want kids, and if there's a fair risk of chemo-stillborns, or any chemo-induced problems really, maybe I would want to rethink this.

  2. Visit quetepye profile page

    About quetepye

    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 66; Likes: 20
    nanny; from US


  3. by   mzjennx
    i dunno if this is true but i heard of nurses who miscarry working on a chemo floor. this makes me nervous because my manager is planning to have me certify in February which was around the same time me and my husband was going to try for a baby. we have decided to wait another year instead because i dont want to put myself in that kind of risk.
  4. by   onc_research
    Good.You should not be working with chemotherapy if you are going to try and conceive.
  5. by   quetepye
    How about if I'm not going to try to conceive for a while? My fiance and I want children - not for a few years, but definitely when it's the right time! Will working with chemo/oncology directly impact that, or only if we are actively trying to conceive now?
  6. by   onc_research
    only actively trying to conceive
  7. by   carolinapooh
    The floor I worked on at Duke - you couldn't MOVE for the pregnant women - and there wasn't one miscarriage while I was there, and I only know of one who had a baby to pass away (and that was before she started working there).

    Chemo is sealed in a closed system. My guess is you eat more carcinogens in food (all that crap that's put it in it) than you come into contact with holding a sealed bag of ifosfamide.
  8. by   caroladybelle
    There is no harm to pregnant nurses IF chemo is handled properly. And many reports demonstrate that when chemo is handled with proper precautions, there is no danger to pregnant personnel.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!BIG IF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Having said that, many hospitals do not handle chemo properly. I work on a floor that handles a lot of chemo/including research drugs. In the past 9 monthes, there have been pregnant staffers, some in elevated risk categories. None have miscarried nor had any untoward issues related to chemo. Two did decline to hang chemo. The unit is very careful to hang chemo and take it down, including special connectors on all tubings, antireflux/antiaerosolization devices.

    Having said that, in many facilities in which I have worked as a traveler, staffers were careless with chemo precautions. And in most of those, pregnant staffers declined to hang chemo or handle the pt, during the period in which they were considered contaminanted.
  9. by   HerbalGypsy
    Nurses who are pregnant are not allowed to handle chemotherapy on our unit. They just have to let management know as soon as they know themselves.

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