Safety

Ten TB cases linked to infected physician

OSHA Healthcare Connection, August 16, 2005

Nine healthcare workers and one patient probably contracted TB from a Boston Medical Center physician with an active case of the disease, according to The Boston Globe on July 22. The infected physician missed an x-ray exam that checks for TB and continued to work in a surgery training rotation at three Boston-area hospitals.

More than 4,000 patients and hospital staff who came into contact with the physician since December 1, 2004, received TB skin tests. None of the 10 cases have shown symptoms of the disease, which can remain dormant for years. They have been advised to take medication for nine months to eliminate their latent TB infections.

OSHA is investigating possible violation of workplace safety regulations in the hospitals where the physician practiced.

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