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 Biofilm discovery suggests new way to prevent dangerous infections
23.05.2017 | University of Texas at Austin

nachricht Another reason to exercise: Burning bone fat -- a key to better bone health
19.05.2017 | University of North Carolina Health Care

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: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Camera on NASA's Lunar Orbiter survived 2014 meteoroid hit

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>