Tuberculosis is primarily a contagious condition derived through the inhalation of an airborne bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The most common location infected with this condition is the pulmonary tract otherwise it may also invade the bloodstream or the lymphatic system, especially for those immunocompromised individuals.
Pulmonary tuberculosis may produce symptoms like cough which may be productive or not, night sweats and chills, low grade fever, loss of appetite or weight loss and later on some pleuritic chest pains and blood streaked sputum. With this, the complications of it may range from difficulty of breathing, anemia, and in some cases extrapulmonary tuberculosis.
Confirmatory diagnostic examinations are chest X- ray and sputum examination for adults while for children below 14 years old, a PPD or Pure Protein Derivative is done by injecting intradermally in the arm of the child. An induration of more than 5 cm confirms the diagnosis.
Tuberculosis can be treated but needs total compliance for at least 6 months with the therapeutic regimen. There are treatment regimen offered in various health centers and these are actually free as part of the government’s advocacy against tuberculosis. Nursing considerations should also involve the medication toxicity reactions of client to his or her treatment regimen.