Pulmonary Cough Screen

Identification of patients at high risk of, or with documented Mycobacterium tuberculosis disease is to occur at the earliest point in the health care encounter. Avoiding delays in such identification will reduce potential staff and patient exposure to TB. All patients presenting for care in Grady Health System are to be screened for symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis using the Pulmonary Cough Screen.

The initial assessment of all patients will include screening for symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis implementing the Pulmonary Cough Screen.

• Productive cough ( > 2 weeks duration) or cough or any duration and any of the following:

— complaints of hemoptysis (bloody sputum);
— night sweats;
— weight loss ( > 10 lb., without deliberate intention);
— anorexia;
— fever;
— HIV infection or at risk for HIV infection, if pulmonary symptoms are present;
— history of known contact with TB.

A surgical mask (i.e., 3M1800 mask) is to be placed over the nose and mouth of any patient noted with the above symptoms and a chest radiograph should be obtained. The patient is to be placed on airborne infection isolation (AII) precautions and placed in a negative pressure room until further assessment is made regarding whether the patient will be admitted to the hospital and will require AII precautions.

Source: Grady Health System, Atlanta.