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Allergic Reaction to TB Skin Test

Q: We have an employee who had a severe allergic reaction to the TB skin test. We have been recommended to give chest x-rays annually to the employee but this is a young person and I am worried about the amount of radiation this represents over a lifetime of working in healthcare. He is a nuclear medicine tech already! What do you advise?

A: The QuantiFERON-TB Gold blood test manufactured by Cellestis Limited would be a great choice for your employee. The QuantiFERON-TB Gold can be used in place of a TST whenever a skin test would be called for, i.e. annually, after an exposure, etc.

Please note that routine chest x-rays, even for those with LTBI, are not recommended. After an initial negative chest x-ray, only send an employee for a follow-up chest x-ray if they develop symptoms of TB.

Here are some links with more information on the QuantiFERON-TB Gold test:

CDC Fact Sheet
CDC Guidelines for Using the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Test

For more information on when to perform TB testing check out Tab 6 of Quality America's OSHA Safety Program Manual, Tab 7 of the Dental OSHA Safety Program Manual.

Posted by Quality America on June 14, 2007 | Comments (0)


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