Hazardous drugs can pose significant risks to healthcare workers who handle them. The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) has established regulations to ensure that the compounding and handling of hazardous drugs are done safely in healthcare facilities. USP chapter 800 outlines the requirements for the safe handling of hazardous drugs, including the use of closed system drug transfer devices (CSTDs) and proper ventilation. Pass-through chambers with HEPA filtration and open door indicator lights are a valuable addition to any USP 800 compliant pharmacy.
Pass-through chambers with HEPA filtration systems are designed to provide a safe and clean environment for the transfer of hazardous drugs. The pass-through chambers allow pharmacy personnel to transfer the hazardous drugs into the chamber, and the nursing staff can safely retrieve the drugs from the other side of the chamber. The HEPA filtration system filters the air that enters the chamber and removes particles as small as 0.3 microns with 99.97% efficiency. This ensures that the air inside the chamber is free of hazardous particles and reduces the risk of contamination.
Open door indicator lights are a helpful option of pass-through chambers. They provide visual confirmation that the chamber is being used correctly and that the door is closed properly. The indicator light turns on when the door is closed, indicating that the HEPA filtration system is actively filtering the air inside the chamber. This feature provides an additional layer of safety, preventing accidental exposure to hazardous drugs due to user error.
It is important to note that the HEPA filters in pass-through chambers need to be replaced regularly, according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, to maintain their effectiveness. HEPA filters can become clogged over time, reducing their efficiency and increasing the risk of contamination.
In conclusion, pass-through chambers with HEPA filtration systems and open door indicator lights are an essential component of any USP 800 compliant pharmacy. They provide a safe and clean environment for the transfer of hazardous drugs, reduce the risk of contamination, and provide an additional layer of safety through the use of open door indicator lights. Proper maintenance and regular replacement of HEPA filters are crucial to ensure their continued effectiveness. By implementing these features, pharmacies can ensure the safety and wellbeing of their staff and patients.