Intrathecal (IT) chemotherapy delivers anticancer drugs directly into cerebrospinal fluid contained in the intrathecal (also known as the subarachnoid) space of the spinal column via a lumbar puncture needle.
Intrathecal chemotherapy has a very limited scope of practice (see Intrathecal Chemotherapy Scope) due to the complex nature of this process.
All staff involved in this process are entered on the Intrathecal Register which is held in the pharmacy department and is the responsibility of the Haematology Pharmacist. You may also access the register through the pharmacy website on the CDHB Intranet.
The role of the nurse in this process, is to perform a bedside second check of the cytotoxic drug with the administrator and to witness its administration. Generally nurses are nominated by the Haematology CNS to undertake the required training and subsequent entry onto the register. Please speak with the Haematology CNS if you wish to consider undertaking this role.
The requirements for a nurse to undertake this role include:
- Watching the DVD
- Successful completion of a multiple choice assessment
- Signing the Entry to Intrathecal Register form
One hour professional development is given for the training.
Recertification is undertaken 3 yearly and involves reading the policy and re-signing the Entry to Intrathecal Register form.
All policy, procedure, training and patient information documents pertaining to Intrathecal chemotherapy are held on the pharmacy website.
Intraventricular Cytotoxic Therapy