Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Medical residents score poorly in diagnosing and managing tuberculosis

03.08.2007
When quizzed about their knowledge in diagnosing tuberculosis and deciding on the best treatment, medical residents in Baltimore and Philadelphia get almost half the answers wrong, according to a survey by TB disease experts at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere.

In the survey, published online Aug. 2 in the British journal BMC Infectious Diseases, 131 medical residents were asked to answer 20 basic questions about the contagious lung disease, recently made the subject of international concern when a traveler was believed to have its most severe form.

According to researchers, the overall median test score for the training physicians, with one-half scoring higher and the other half scoring lower, was just 55 percent.

Results showed that the recent medical school graduates got three-fifths of the answers wrong (with a median score of 40 percent) for recognizing and treating latent TB, the most common form of the infection. In latent TB, a person is infected with the tubercle bacterium but lacks symptoms and is not contagious, yet is still at risk for developing active disease later on.

Just over half of the questions about diagnosing active TB, when an infected person develops TB-related symptoms and is more likely to infect others, were answered correctly (with a median score of 57 percent). Symptoms of active TB include fever, cough, night sweats and weight loss.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 10 million to 15 million Americans have latent TB and are at risk of developing active disease.

On two-thirds of the questions about the toxicity of current drug regimens and about the link between TB and HIV infection, physicians gave the right answer (with a median score of 63 percent for both questions.)

“Despite the poor results for trainees, people cannot assume that lack of comprehensive knowledge about tuberculosis leads to poor patient care,” says lead study author Petros Karakousis, M.D. “Medical residents may be quick to consult experts in infection control, infectious diseases, or in pulmonary medicine to assist in diagnosis, isolation and treatment.”

According to Karakousis, an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Tuberculosis Research Center, “Our results demonstrate that improved training is needed about how best to diagnose and care for people with latent and active TB because physicians training at urban medical centers are most likely to be the first point of contact for people with previously undiagnosed TB.”

Karakousis says large metropolitan areas are prone to more cases of TB because of social factors, including high rates of homelessness, drug use, incarceration and immigration, as well as HIV infection.

He points out that the survey results were not all bad, with most medical residents understanding the main facts about how Mycobacterium tuberculosis is transmitted (with a median score of 95 percent).

“Most people with active TB develop symptoms over weeks, so what is needed is more training in the outpatient setting and in the community in addition to the hospital wards, to recognize and treat this infection early and before it spreads,” Karakousis says.

David March | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ntcc.ucsd.edu/
http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcmed/
http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/dom/tb_lab/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Serious children’s infections also spreading in Switzerland
26.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht New vaccine production could improve flu shot accuracy
25.07.2017 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property

26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion

26.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Large-Mouthed Fish Was Top Predator After Mass Extinction

26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>