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  • Tuberculosis

– An infectious disease that is spread by airborne route.

  • Infection is caused by inhalation of droplets that contain the tuberculosis bacteria, (Mycobacterium tuberculosis)

Pumonary Tuberculosis is an airborne infection (nclex).  It is a communicable disease that can occur acurately or chronically.  The number one cause of pulmonary tuberculosis that is essential to know for the NCLEX exam is the organism: mycobacterium tuberculosis.  During a pulmonary tuberculosis, the alveoli becomes the focus of infection from the inhaled droplets that contains the bacteria.  The tubercule bacilli would then multiply and spread through the lymphatics, and drain into the systemic circulations.

  • The assessment findings for patients with tuberculosis is fatigue, malaise, irritability, night sweats, tachycardia, weight loss, anorexia, cough, dyspnea, and yellow and mucoid sputum (nclex).
  • Persons living in crowded conditions and those with a compromised immune systems are the one’s at risk.

Diagnostic Test:

1. Mantoux Skin Test. Purified Protien Derivative (PPD)

  • Check within 48 to 72 hours.  An area of induration measuring 10 mm or more in diameter is interpreted as a significant indicator of TB.  Further tests will then be conducted.
  • An induration of more than 5 mm in a HIV patient means exposure to TB.

2. Smear and culture (Sterile Sputum Specimen)

  • Make sure to obtain before patient had breakfast
  • To obtain a sputum: Instruct client to take a deep breath and then cough.


  • Isoniazid (INH) with streptomycin for 9 month to 1 year or more.
  • Rifampin and Pyrazinimide (PZA) may also be used.
  • A private room with appropriate air handling and ventilation is important to decrease the risk of admission.


Important to remember for NCLEX:

Rifampin– side effect is red discoloration of the urine, tears and sweat.

Isoniazid- side effect includes the deficiency of pyroidoxine (B6)

Pyrazinimide– side effect includes swollen painfull joints.


Positive Detector of Tuberculosis:  Sputum Test.



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