Nosocomial Control of Tuberculosis

Shau-Tzung Huang

2007 Vol.23 NO.3

Correspondence Author: Shau-Tzung Huang


After the episode of SARS, control of nosocomial infection started to draw attention among hospitals. Tuberculosis is not uncommon in Taiwan. With patients infected with tuberculosis coming in and out of the hospitals, it certainly carries a risk for nosocomial transmission of tuberculosis if there is no proper infection control measurement in hospitals. Control of nosocomial tuberculosis transmissions should not solely be the responsibility of the infection control personnel. From the very basic level hospital staffs to the top administrative staffs, any breach in infection control could lead to devastating consequences to the hospital. Factors affecting the risk of nosocomial transmission of tuberculosis include environmental, patient-related and medical factors. Strategies for control of nosocomial tuberculosis transmission include three levels: administrative management, environmental control, and personal respiratory protection. Administrative management is thought to be the most important among them. Interpretation of Tuberculin skin test in Taiwan could cause confusion due to the use of BCG vaccine. QuantiFERON-TB provides an alternative way to effectively screen for tuberculosis since it is not affected by BCG. Once nosocomial tuberculosis transmission is suspected, apart from patient isolation and contacts tracing, the quickest method should be used in an attempt to exclude the possibility of Non-tuberculosis Mycobacterium. We hope to achieve the best control for nosocomial tuberculosis to reduce the exposure and infection rate of our medical staffs.