PATIENTS AND METHODS: All patients who underwent intravenous chemotherapy in the oncology department and surgical wards in Penang General hospital from 1st February 2008 till 31st June 2008 were recruited retrospectively for this study to look at the rate of extravasation.
RESULTS: A total of 602 patients underwent intravenous chemotherapy during this period. Fifty patients received chemotherapy in the general surgical ward while another 552 patients received chemotherapy in the oncology department. There were 5 cases of extravasation giving an overall extravasation rate of 0.8% (5/602). however, 4 of these cases occurred in the general surgical ward giving it a rate of 8% (4/50).
CONCLUSION: The rate of extravasation in our hospital was 0.8%. however, this rate can be significantly increased if it is not done under a specialized unit delivering intravenous chemotherapy on a regular basis. Preventive steps including a standard chemotherapy delivery protocol, staff and patient education must be put in place in all units delivering intravenous chemotherapy.