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Status of tuberculosis infection control programs at Texas hospitals, 1989 through 1991


BACKGROUND: Paralleling the resurgence of tuberculosis (TB) in the United States, the reported number of persons with TB in Texas increased by 33% during 1985 through 1992, the third largest rise among all the states. This increase prompted us to survey hospitals in Texas to determine their degree of compliance with recommendations in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention TB guidelines.

METHODS: In April 1992, we mailed a voluntary questionnaire about TB infection control practices, health care worker tuberculin skin testing procedures, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis laboratory methods to a convenience sample of hospitals in Texas.

RESULTS: Of 180 hospitals surveyed, 151 (83%) returned completed questionnaires. Of these, 90 (60%) were nonteaching community hospitals; 28 (19%) were teaching community hospitals; 13 (9%) were university-affiliated hospitals; and 20 (13%) were other hospitals. The number of hospitals to which patients with TB were admitted increased from 98 (65%) in 1989 to 122 (81%) in 1991. Respondent hospitals had a mean of 183 acute care beds (median 100, range 5 to 999), 6 acid-fast bacillus isolation rooms (median 2, range 0 to 57) and 7.5 admissions/year of patients with TB (median 2, range 0 to 202). Of hospitals responding to specific questions, 20% (27/137) admitted patients with multidrug-resistant TB, 18% (25/140) reported not having any acid-fast bacillus isolation rooms, and 28% (35/125) had no rooms meeting all of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for acid-fast bacillus isolation (negative air pressure, > or = 6 air changes per hour, and air directly vented to the outside). The tuberculin skin test conversions among health care workers rose from 246 (0.6%) in 1989 to 547 (0.9%) in 1991.

CONCLUSION: Although the number of Texas hospitals admitting patients with TB increased during 1989 through 1991, many facilities still did not have infection control practices consistent with the 1992 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention TB guidelines.

Manangan LP, Perrotta DM, Banerjee SN, Hack D, Simonds D, Jarvis WR

Am J Infect Control 1997 Jun;25(3):229-35

PMID: 9202819