Free Content Tuberculosis at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital: numbers of patients diagnosed and outcomes of referrals to district clinics

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SETTING: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, in Johannesburg. South Africa is experiencing a serious epidemic of tuberculosis (TB), with a measured rate of 500 cases per 100000 population. Patients in public hospitals are referred for treatment to district clinics or to specific TB hospitals.

OBJECTIVES: To measure numbers of patients diagnosed with TB, and to describe the type of disease and referral outcomes.

METHODS: A descriptive study of patients diagnosed with TB in a tertiary hospital. Data in patient files were collected for medical and paediatric patients, and patients were interviewed by researchers who visited clinics to check if referred patients had attended.

RESULTS: In the 8-week study period, 1291 patients were diagnosed with TB: 74% had pulmonary disease and 80% of those tested for HIV were positive; 19% died in hospital, and 21% required transfer to a TB hospital. Only half of the patients referred to clinics attended within 2 weeks.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with advanced TB are commonly seen at this hospital. Notifications were an inadequate record and an unacceptable proportion of patients were lost between hospital and clinics. This study has recommended that opportunities for education and discussion must be provided if patients are to reach clinics successfully.

Keywords: TB deaths; district clinics; hospital admission; notification; referrals; registration; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 2: Department of Medicine, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication date: April 1, 2005

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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