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Tuberculosis in Hemodialysis Patients in New Jersey: A Statewide Study

  • Teresa A. Simon (a1), Sindy Paul (a2), Daniel Wartenberg (a1) and Jerome I. Tokars (a3)

Abstract

Objective:

To study the incidence of tuberculosis (TB), tuberculin skin testing (TST) practices, and infection control practices at outpatient hemodialysis centers.

Design:

Mail surveys performed in December 1994 and 1995.

Main Outcome Measures:

The numbers of patients with incident active TB during 1994 and 1995, TST policies during 1994, and TB infection control policies in 1994.

Setting:

All outpatient dialysis centers in New Jersey.

Patients or Participants:

Healthcare workers and patients in dialysis centers in New Jersey.

Results:

Of 47 centers, 41 provided information on TST and TB infection control policies and practices. TSTs were performed on newly hired healthcare workers at all 41 centers and on established workers at 39 centers. In contrast, only 1 center reported performing TSTs on hemodialysis patients; 5 other centers reported screening of patients for TB using chest radiographs. Active TB was reported in 3 of 4,550 chronic hemodialysis patients in 1994 (rate, 66/100,000 patient-years) and in 4 of 4,831 patients in 1995 (rate, 83/100,000 patient-years). Both rates were several times higher than the rate in the New Jersey general population during this period (10.7-10.8/100,000).

Conclusion:

Although based on small numbers of patients with TB, we found a relatively high incidence of TB among hemodialysis patients in New Jersey. Most centers reported performing TSTs on workers but not on patients. These results suggest the need for improved TB screening and infection control precautions at outpatient dialysis centers.

Copyright

Corresponding author

7 Haines Cove Dr, Toms River, NJ 08753

References

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Tuberculosis in Hemodialysis Patients in New Jersey: A Statewide Study

  • Teresa A. Simon (a1), Sindy Paul (a2), Daniel Wartenberg (a1) and Jerome I. Tokars (a3)

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