Sputum Disposal Guidelines
One sputum positive case can infect ten more cases if sputum disposal guidelines are not followed by the patients said Padma Shri Awardee Dr A M Pullai National President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal Honorary Secretary General IMA.
IMA is observing TB awareness fortnight to reduce the menace of TB in the country. As per IMA, patients should be provided with individual container with lid, containing 5% phenol, for collection of sputum. Patients should be instructed on spitting the sputum directly in the container or in a tissue paper which is then thrown in the container. The container should be emptied daily and the sputum should be disposed of.
Disposal of sputum at health settings need to be considered. All health care settings should make available tissue papers, and make bins with disinfectants accessible to patients for disposal of sputum.
In OPD segregation of patients with respiratory symptoms should be achieved by having a separate waiting area for chest symptomatic patients.
One should implement a patient flow control mechanism at the entry point of the waiting area, so that chest symptomatic patients (who have been screened earlier and are carrying priority slips or other similar identification) are diverted to this special area rather than the common waiting area. The outpatient area, more so this segregated area, should be well ventilated to reduce overall risk of airborne transmission.
One should minimize hospitalization of TB patients and establish separate rooms, wards, or areas within wards for patients with infectious respiratory diseases.
The best choice for infectious or potentially-infectious patients is to house and manage them in airborne precaution rooms. Where such airborne precaution rooms are not feasible, other options for physical separation include: Having a few small ‘airborne precautions rooms’ for patients with infectious respiratory disease patients, having a separate ward designated for patients with infectious respiratory disease; keeping a designated area with better ventilation available for the placement of potentially-infectious patients; having a “No Immune-Compromised Patient Area”