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Free Content Identifying an active case of tuberculosis [Serialised Guide. Best practice for the care of patients with tuberculosis. Number 2 in the series]

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The best practice standards set out in chapter 2 of the Best Practice guide focus on the various aspects of identifying an active case of TB and aim to address some of the challenges associated with case detection. The importance of developing a good relationship with the patient from the start, when he or she is often most vulnerable, is emphasised. The first standard focuses on the assessment of someone who might have TB and the second gives detailed guidance about the collection of sputum for diagnosis. The standards are aimed at the health care worker, who assesses the patient when he or she presents at a health care facility and therefore needs to be familiar with the signs, symptoms and risk factors associated with TB. Having suspected TB, the health care worker then needs to ensure that the correct tests are ordered and procedures are followed so that the best quality samples possible are sent to the laboratory and all documentation is filled out clearly and correctly. The successful implementation of these standards can be measured by the accurate and prompt reporting of results, the registration of every case detected and the continued attendance of every patient who needs treatment.
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Keywords: best practice; case detection; tuberculosis

Document Type: Invited Paper

Affiliations: 1: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France; International Council of Nurses, Geneva, Switzerland 2: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Paris, France 3: Ministry of Public Health, Bangkok, Thailand 4: Ministry of Health, Kampala, Uganda 5: KNCV, The Hague, The Netherlands 6: State Agency of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, Riga, Latvia 7: Sao Paulo University, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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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