The following article features coverage from the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

More steps may be necessary to protect oncology nurses from contamination with 5-fluorouracil. A new study is suggesting that the lowest contamination occurs with the use of connection QimoMale® + QimoFemale® compared with Luer Lock Male + Female or Luer Lock Male + Needleless connectors (BD-Q-Syte®). The findings, presented at ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, demonstrated contamination with 5-fluorouracil was similar between the Luer Lock Male + Female connector and the Luer Lock Male + Needleless connector.

An ongoing concern for oncology nurses is an increased risk of occupational exposure when disconnecting infusion lines. The researchers report that this is particularly a concern with elastomeric pumps because they are frequently disconnected during an infusion period of several days.

The team investigated the potential for contamination when disconnecting infusion lines of elastomeric pumps containing 5-fluorouracil with the 3 different connectors. They used a tissue mimicking a patient’s arm. Both end parts of the connection were cleaned with a wipe after disconnection, and the wipe, the gloves, and the tissues were analyzed separately for contamination with 5-fluorouracil. The investigators used 10 elastomeric pumps (Baxter-Folfusor®) for each type of connection.

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Findings showed that there was contamination with 5-fluorouracil on all 30 pumps. However, the level of contamination was highly varied, and the highest contamination levels were found on the wipes (end parts). The contamination levels on the tissues and on the gloves were found to be substantially lower.

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Significant differences were found between the 3 connectors with the wipes. The study showed the median contamination was 50% lower for QimoMale® + QimoFemale® compared with Luer Lock Male + Female, and 44% lower compared with Male + Needleless connectors. “The presence of 5-fluorouracil on the gloves supports the need of wearing gloves to protect nurses from exposure by skin contact during administration of cytotoxic drugs,” concluded the researchers.


Sessink P, Levert H, Jourdan N, Albert O. administration of 5-fluorouracil with elastomeric pumps. Presented at: ESMO Congress 2019; September 27-October 1, 2019; Barcelona, Spain. Abstract CN32.