New Pharmacy Addition Available In Athens Limestone Hospital

The new "Clean Room" is now a reality in Athens Limestone Hospital. For the past several years, the hospital has used “hoods” in mixing IV medications but no more, plus the ability to mix chemotherapy is now possible in their new "clean room" according to hospital pharmacist Jan Lenz.  Before entering the clean room, a hospital staff member enters the ante-room, where they are literally covered from head to foot starting with a gown followed by a cap and face mask, booties over their shoes and sterile gloves over their hands.

The ante-room provides separation between a potentially contaminated area and the “clean” area. It serves as the only entrance to the clean room and is where the hospital personnel suit up in the sterile garments before mixing medications such as chemotherapy drugs.

New regulations lead to the installation of the clean room for hospitals that mix IV medications and chemotherapy. The clean room is negatively pressurized so the air is pulled in and exhausted out to the outside to keep the person safe from the chemo.  

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Bill McGuffey, director of Pharmacy, stated “this has been in the process for approximately 5 years, but this past year we were able to see it become reality.” McGuffey interned at Athens Hospital in 1972, worked at the hospital from 81-89 and returned for the last 16 years. He has seen Athens Limestone Hospital make numerous advancements and feels this latest addition will help patients save time and money by not having to drive so far for treatment. McGuffey stated, “ the next step for us is to do what we can to help our patients.”

Lenz said, "It depends on the patients’ physician to who will be treated at Athens Limestone Hospital. Currently there is only one onsite Oncologist, Dr. Brian Mathews, who is here one day a week. Now having the clean room, we hope to see more cancer physicians coming to Athens Limestone Hospital so we can meet their patients needs."

 

Teresa Todd
AthensPlus.com
January 19th, 2011