Many of the drugs produced and engineered are for the treatment of potentially lethal diseases. As such, the drugs themselves can be lethal if healthy people accidentally inhale, ingest, or absorb them. As a nurse, you will encounter many of these drugs in your line of work. If you are not entirely familiar with them just yet, the following examples will get you started. There is also an explanation why hazardous drug CSTD systems, which prevent the transfer of hazardous drugs to healthy people, are so important.

Chemotherapy Drugs

These drugs are literally poison. They kill healthy cells along with the cancer cells, but because they are very effective at killing cancer, they are the go-to treatment. Oncologists see the life-extending benefit of chemotherapy drugs as something that far outweighs a shortened life and the very unpleasant side effects of these hazardous drugs.

Powerful Anti-Virals

Viruses create illnesses that cannot typically be killed while the virus is inside the human body. However, the HIV and AIDS epidemics made it vitally important to find drugs that would fight these dangerous and deadly viruses inside the body. The medicines are powerful anti-virals that could kill a healthy person, but extend the life of someone with HIV or AIDS. As a nurse, you may come into contact with these medications either accidentally through a needlestick incident, or by touching pills without gloves on. If you are pregnant, they will kill the baby in utero and/or cause birth defects.

Medicine Pumps

Different types of pump delivery systems have made it possible to monitor insulin levels and deliver insulin directly into the body/bloodstream. Without the proper amount of insulin delivered at regular intervals, these patients would die, so severe is their diabetes condition. If the pumps fail because there is a leak in the delivery system, the leaking insulin can be absorbed through the skin into your body, making it a very dangerous thing indeed. Excess insulin in a healthy body causes your body to react by withdrawing production of insulin and creating a dangerous loop of side effects. 

Why Closed System Drug Transfers Are So Important

These systems are important for protecting you against accidental contact with the toxic drugs that are helping people live longer lives. Your patients can recover or withstand the effects because of the problems in their own bodies, but you cannot. Always use these systems to protect yourself, and if you are female, to protect your reproductive system too.