Clinical Outcomes

Department of Oncology

Chemotherapy Extravasation
Intravenous infusion is the principal modality of administration of anti-cancer drugs for most types of malignant disorders. Chemotherapy administration carries safety concerns to both patients and the medical team. These concerns include extravasation of chemotherapy, which is defined as the accidental infiltration of chemotherapy into the subcutaneous or sub-dermal tissue at the injection site and can result in tissue necrosis. The exact incidence of chemotherapy extravasation varies greatly due to the general lack of reporting and the absence of a centralized registry of chemotherapy extravasation events. While center-based guidelines and policies attempt to minimize its risk, chemotherapy extravasation still has a prevalence that can range from 0.1% to 6% when administered through peripheral intravenous access and from 0.26% to 4.7% when administered through a central venous access device (CVAD).

In order to avoid additional chemotherapy adverse effects, every effort should be made to minimize the complications of chemotherapy administration. All the oncology team members share the responsibility to ensure the safe administration of chemotherapy.