Safety

World TB Day, a time to assess your risk

OSHA Healthcare Connection, March 18, 2008

World TB Day is March 24, and it serves as a reminder to check that the TB risk assessment for your healthcare facility is up to date.

The CDC Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in Healthcare Settings recommends that every healthcare setting have a TB infection control program as part of an overall infection control program. A TB risk assessment is the first step in developing a plan.

Categories in the CDC-recommended risk assessment (see Appendix B of the guidelines) include:

  • Incidence of TB cases in your community.
  • Risk classification based on the type of practice and number of patients seen compared to number of suspected or confirmed TB cases
  • Conversion rates of healthcare workers
  • Existence, implementation, and review of a TB infection control program
  • Environmental controls, such as ventilation systems
  • A respiratory protection program
  • Reassessment frequency

TB takes more than 1.6 million lives each year and drug-resistant TB is a growing threat around the world, including the United States, according to the World Health Organization.

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