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Tuberculosis

Screening questions during admission process

04/17/2006

Question:

We are a healcare company that provides intravenous medications in the home setting. How can we better identify patients who have active TB? Are there screening questions we can ask? Can we legally ask do they or anyone they have close contact with have TB? This screening is not to exclude this patient population from our care--it is to be better informed in order to protect our delivery personnel and nurses as they visit the pt`s home.

Answer:

You're in luck.  The CDC recently published "Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Settings, December, 2005."  The same information is also available in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, December 30, 2005; 54 (No. RR-17, 1-141)

These guidelines for TB infection control measures have been updated to include specifics regarding non-traditional healthcare settings such as yours. I was unable to find a screening questionnaire among the many tables contained therein, but I suspect the TB Controller for your state or county may have some suggestions for screening questions that are appropriate for your area.

For more information:

Go to the Tuberculosis health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Lisa A Haglund, MD Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati