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Tuberculosis

Converter is tested

11/07/2007

Question:

I am a converter who inadvertantly received an IM injection of 0.5cc of tubersol. What should I expect?

Answer:

The Tuberculin skin test is usually administered by giving 5 tuberculin units (0.1cc) intradermally and not by intramuscular (IM) injection.

If you have received a 0.5cc of tubersol by IM injection, you may experience pain at the injection site as with other IM injections. I called the manufacturer of tubersol and they report no problem in patients who inadvertently receive the injection by IM rather than by intradermal including in patients who have a history of tuberculosis.

From the tubersol manufacture’s product information, there is a report of inadvertent SUBCUTANEOUS injection in a highly sensitized individual that produced a general febrile reaction and/or an acute inflammation around old tuberculous lesions.1

If you experience increased pain, redness, or ulceration at the site of injection, you should seek medical attention.

Because you have a history of a positive skin test (converter) you should have received an evaluation by a physician for active tuberculosis disease or latent tuberculosis infection. If there is no evidence of active tuberculosis disease, you should have been started on treatment for latent tuberculosis infection. If you have not received an evaluation or treatment for your positive tuberculin skin test, we recommend that you seek medical attention.

1Prod Info Tubersol(R), 1995ª http://www.vaccineshoppecanada.com/secure/pdfs/ca/tubersol_e.pdf

For more information:

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Response by:

Shu-Hua   Wang, MD, MPH&TM Shu-Hua Wang, MD, MPH&TM
Clinical Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases
Clinical Assistant Professor of The Division of Epidemiology
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Larry S Schlesinger, MD Larry S Schlesinger, MD
Professor:
Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics
Microbiology Administration
Environmental Health Sciences
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University