Evaluation of tuberculosis Infection control Strategies at the Philippine General Hospital

  • Ruth Divine D. Agustin
  • Josephine Anne C. Lucero
  • Regina P. Berba
Keywords: tuberculosis, infection control, nosocomial infection


Background. Nosocomial TB transmission adversely affects inpatients and healthcare workers (HCWs). HCWs have a higher risk of tuberculosis and MDR-TB compared to the general population. Nosocomial TB outbreaks have occurred among patients with HIV/AIDS. Hospitals need to examine TB infection control measures in order to address this growing concern.

Objective. This study aimed to evaluate the TB infection control strategies in the adult service wards of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

Methods. This descriptive study was conducted on adult inpatients with bacteriologically-confirmed PTB admitted in April-August 2016. A data collection tool based on Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines was utilized for chart review. Baseline characteristics, diagnosis, treatment, and isolation intervals were obtained and compared between areas. In-hospital TB infection control practices were reviewed using the CDC TB Risk Assessment Worksheet with data from the TB-DOTS, UP Health Service, PGH Hospital Infection Control Unit, and PGH Department of Laboratories.

Results. Of the 95 patients with bacteriologically-confirmed PTB, data from 72 medical records were available and included in the analysis. Majority were Medicine patients (55.6%) with a diagnosis of pneumonia (52.8%). Only 61.1% were PTB suspects on admission. The mean diagnosis interval was 5.82 days±5.473, the mean treatment interval was 0.77 days±2.941, and the mean isolation interval was 8.23 days±6.372. Only 41.7% were successfully isolated. The most common reasons for isolation failure/delay were lack of vacancy (ER, Medicine wards) and lack of isolation room (Surgical wards). Treatment initiation rate was 66.7% while TB-DOTS inpatient referral rate was 55.6%. The hospital is classified as having potential ongoing transmission of PTB.

Conclusion. In this study, TB treatment was promptly started but there were delays in diagnosis and isolation. Gaps included 1) lack of recognition of a PTB case, 2) limited isolation rooms, and 3) inadequate utilization of TB-DOTS. TB infection control measures need to be strengthened in order to prevent nosocomial transmission of PTB.


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