Tuberculosis Unseen - Missed Opportunities in Diagnosis
This study estimates the number of tuberculosis cases that are potentially misdiagnosed as alternative respiratory illnesses in months prior to receiving a correct diagnosis. Inpatient and emergency department records in the state of California, from 2005 to 2011, were analyzed for patients that had an initial tuberculosis diagnosis along with a previous recorded visit. Tuberculosis patients were far more likely to receive a respiratory diagnosis in a window 5 to 90 days prior to their initial tuberculosis diagnosis than were uninfected patients. Findings suggest that more than 20% of tuberculosis cases are potentially missed in inpatient and emergency department settings.