VOL: 102, ISSUE: 02, PAGE NO: 25AETIOLOGY
- Tuberculosis (TB) is generally transmitted by the inhalation or ingestion of droplets that have been emitted by infected people when they cough, laugh or sneeze.
1. Mycobacterium tuberculosis - the cause of most infections.
- Early signs: fever, anorexia, weight loss, vague chest pain and pleurisy.
- Medical history.
- Drug therapy - the bacillus is usually sensitive to isoniazid, streptomycin and rifampicin. Therapy usually lasts for one year.
- Check the function of the kidneys, liver, eyes and ears to discover early signs of drug toxicity.
Before discharge patients are taught the following:
- In the Mantoux, Heaf or Tine test, tuberculin (a protein taken from cultures of tubercle bacilli) is injected under the skin. After 48-72 hours, a raised red area at the injection site indicates a measure of immunity to TB. No reaction indicates the need for BCG vaccination.
- Trials using medication event monitoring systems (MEMS) are looking at TB patients' adherence patterns. Medication is held in a modified plastic phial that has a cap containing a microprocessor which records the exact time that the phial is opened and closed. This gives an idea of adherence (although it cannot prove that the medication was actually taken). Using MEMS, researchers can investigate whether it matters if patients adhere to a particular regimen in terms of efficacy.
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Linton, A.D. et al (2000)Introductory Nursing Care of Adults. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders.