Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a bacterium. The disease is spread through airborne droplets that an infected person coughs and sneezes.
This puts the caregiver and all people living in close proximity to the patient at risk. That is why isolation measures made for tuberculosis patients are very important.
However, the normal isolation measures made for tuberculosis are not always effective in controlling the spread of the disease. Hospitals where tuberculosis patients are admitted have to take an industrial approach to stop the spread of infection. The idea here is to control the source of the infection.
Isolation measures made for tuberculosis should not be confused with quarantine. Quarantine refers to separation of the people who have been exposed to an infection but are not yet ill. Isolation on the other hand refers to separating infected people from those who are not infected.
In the US, the authority to isolate a patient with tuberculosis rests with the healthcare professionals and health departments. All hospitals and healthcare facilities have isolation policy and procedure in place to deal with patients suffering from tuberculosis and similar infectious diseases. Patients with tuberculosis are isolated in separate rooms, which are well ventilated and have a filtration unit to capture the airborne droplets. In addition, caregivers are provided with masks so that they are not infected.
The room where a tuberculosis patient is kept has to have air changes and the ideal air change is around 6 in an hour. In addition, care is taken that no air flows from the patient's room into the hallway to avoid the spread of the bacteria to other parts of the building. Care is taken that the air from the patient's room is vented out of the building.
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