Status of tuberculosis infection control programs in Canadian acute care hospitals, 1989 to 1993 - Part 1

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OBJECTIVE: To document tuberculosis (TB) prevention and control activities in Canadian acute care hospitals from 1989 to 1995. DESIGN: Retrospective questionnaire. PARTICIPANTS: All members of the Community and Hospital Infection Control Association-Canada and l'association des professionnels pour la prevention des infectious who lived in Canada and worked in an acute care hospital received a questionnaire. One questionnaire per hospital was completed. OUTCOME: The study documented the number of respiratory TB cases admitted to the hospital, the type of engineering and environmental controls available, and the type of occupational tuberculin skin test (TST) screening programs offered by the hospital. RESULTS: Questionnaires were received from 319 hospitals. Ninety-nine (32%) hospitals did not admit a respiratory TB case during the study. Thirty-one (10%) hospitals averaged six or more TB cases per year. TST results were reported for 47,181 health care workers, and 819 (1.7%) were reported as TST converters; physicians had a significantly higher TST conversion rate than other occupational groups. Most hospitals did not have isolation rooms with air exhausted outside the building, negative air pressure and six or more air changes per hour. Surgical masks were used as respiratory protection by 74% of staff. CONCLUSIONS: Canadian hospitals can expect to admit TB patients. Participating hospitals did not meet TB engineering or environmental recommendations published in 1990 and 1991. In addition, occupational TB screening programs in 1989 to 1993 did not meet Canadian recommendations published in 1988.




Holton, D., Paton, S., Gibson, H., Taylor, G., Whyman, C., & Yang, T. C. (1997). Status of tuberculosis infection control programs in Canadian acute care hospitals, 1989 to 1993 - Part 1. Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases, 8(4), 188–194.

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