United States Pharmacopeia (USP), a scientific non-profit organization, sets standards for the identity, purity, manufacturing and handling of medications that are recognized worldwide. USP General Chapter <800> Hazardous Drugs in Healthcare Settings provides standards for safe handling of hazardous drugs. Most of the hazardous drugs listed in the chapter are not utilized in the peri-operative environment. However, oxytocin – a drug that anesthesiologists and other members of the anesthesia care team, as well as nurses in labor and delivery suites may handle – is included in this list.

In most U.S. jurisdictions (46 states and territories), USP chapters are incorporated into statute by reference. That makes these chapters enforceable by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and those accrediting agencies that have been granted deemed status by CMS. To maintain compliance with The Joint Commission and...

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