0
Summaries for Patients |

Hospital Ventilation and Tuberculosis in Canadian Health Care Workers FREE

[+] Article and Author Information

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 2000;133(10):S-52. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-133-10-200011210-00005
Text Size: A A A

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Tuberculosis is an infection that usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other body organs. Tuberculosis spreads when a person with this lung infection coughs and releases tuberculosis bacteria into the air. When persons with tuberculosis are hospitalized, it is very important to use special precautions (masks and isolation rooms) to keep the infection from spreading to other patients and hospital workers. In the early 1990s, several outbreaks of tuberculosis in hospitals drew attention to this issue. New recommendations suggested strict infection control precautions, including special ventilation systems in hospitals. Reports suggest that these precautions have decreased the spread of tuberculosis in hospitals. However, none of these studies was able to examine the role of ventilation systems alone. Since these ventilation systems can be expensive and difficult to install, it would be useful to know how well they work.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To see whether exposure of hospital workers to tuberculosis is associated with the ventilation systems in place where they work.

Who was studied?

Health care workers who worked at least 2 days per week on selected wards of 17 community and teaching hospitals in Canada.

How was the study done?

The researchers asked the workers to undergo skin tests for tuberculosis and to complete a survey. The skin tests show whether a person has been exposed to tuberculosis. The researchers reviewed the records of all patients with tuberculosis who were hospitalized at each hospital during the previous 3 years. The researchers also did special tests of ventilation that measured air flow at various locations in the hospital. They then looked for associations between hospital ventilation and positive test results for tuberculosis in hospital workers.

What did the researchers find?

Positive test results for tuberculosis were associated with poor ventilation in general patient rooms. Other factors related to testing positive for tuberculosis were working in hospitals that had more patients with tuberculosis and having certain types of hospital jobs (nursing, respiratory therapy, physical therapy, or housekeeping). However, positive test results for tuberculosis were not associated with the ventilation in isolation rooms. This is probably because hospital workers usually wear masks when they enter isolation rooms.

What were the limitations of the study?

The study involved only 17 hospitals in Canada. The results might not apply to hospitals that see different numbers of patients with tuberculosis or have different infection control procedures.

What are the implications of the study?

Proper ventilation systems seem to be important in preventing the spread of tuberculosis in hospitals.

Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician.

The summary below is from the full report titled “Hospital Ventilation and Risk for Tuberculous Infection in Canadian Health Care Workers.” It is in the 21 November 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 133, pages 779-789). The authors are D Menzies, A Fanning, L Yuan, JM FitzGerald, and the Canadian Collaborative Group in Nosocomial Transmission of TB.

Summaries for Patients are a service provided by Annals to help patients better understand the complicated and often mystifying language of modern medicine.

Summaries for Patients are presented for informational purposes only. These summaries are not a substitute for advice from your own medical provider. If you have questions about this material, or need medical advice about your own health or situation, please contact your physician.

The summary below is from the full report titled “Hospital Ventilation and Risk for Tuberculous Infection in Canadian Health Care Workers.” It is in the 21 November 2000 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 133, pages 779-789). The authors are D Menzies, A Fanning, L Yuan, JM FitzGerald, and the Canadian Collaborative Group in Nosocomial Transmission of TB.

Figures

Tables

References

Letters

NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Comments

Submit a Comment
Submit a Comment

Summary for Patients

Clinical Slide Sets

Terms of Use

The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.

Toolkit

Want to Subscribe?

Learn more about subscription options

Advertisement
Related Articles
Related Point of Care
Topic Collections
PubMed Articles
Forgot your password?
Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.
(Required)
(Required)