Nurse Tips for Handling Tuberculosis Cases

Tuberculosis is notoriously known as one of the most infectious disease. With nearly one-third of the world population, the role of doctors and other medical staff in handling this disease is important. In fact, this could be one of the commonest Nursing Jobs to treat tuberculosis patient as the number of infected patient is plenty. If you occasionally have to deal with tuberculosis patient, you need to know several things related to tuberculosis treatment.

Facts of Tuberculosis

TB is a diseased caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2008, TB has infected nearly one-third of the world’s population. Annually, at least 1.6 million people die because of this disease which has made TM as the second most common cause of death from infectious disease in the world. A person with TB will give several signs and symptoms, such as follows:

  • Chronic cough, with or without mucous and/or blood
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Night sweats or fever

How to Control the Spread of the Disease

In order to control the spread of the disease, usually a doctor or nurse will conduct these procedures:

Early identification

To minimize the risk of transmission of TB, every healthcare facility should have written policies and procedures in place. In fact, they should be periodically reviewed for effectiveness and updates as needed.

Isolation

If patients gives clear diagnose of TB, they should be isolated immediately in an AFB(acid-fast bacilli) isolation room. Sterilizing the room with negative pressure and exhaust appropriately ventilated is necessary.

In fact, medical staffs who wish to enter the room should wear a NIOSH-certified respirator. The respirator will protect the individual from the infection since regular surgical mask cannot protect people from this disease.

Effective Treatment of any person(s) diagnosed with active TB

A person with active TB should take several drugs for 6 to 9 months. Currently, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating TB approve 10 drugs. From the approved drugs, the first-line anti-TB agents that form the core of treatment regimens are:

  • Isoniazid (INH)
  • Rifampin (RIF)
  • Ethambuthol (EMB)
  • Pyrazinamide (PZA)
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