Symptoms And Treatment Of Tb

1436 Words6 Pages
Headline(s) Rehab and tuberculosis
Standfirst Robert Millett meets a respiratory and neuro physio who are working together to help rehab TB patients in London.
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Many people think of tuberculosis (TB) as a ‘Dickensian’ era disease. But current figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) show that, alongside HIV, TB is the most deadly infectious disease in the world.

Most new cases occur in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan.
But the UK has the highest TB rates in Western Europe, according to figures from Public Health England, with 12 cases per 100,000 people.

And the numbers in London are even higher. In November 2015 the London
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The unit receives TB referrals from across southeast England and local district general hospitals. The trust’s physiotherapy TB provision consists of a band 5 physio who works half a day a week on the unit, and receives input from both the respiratory team and the trust’s neuro-outreach physiotherapy team.

‘We don’t have a blanket referral for all patients that are admitted with TB, but we are lucky to work with fantastic nurses and doctors who are able to identify when the patients need our input,’ says Ms Ricketts.

There is no typical pathway of care for patients who are referred to the unit with TB, she says, as each case is different and physiotherapy treatment – when needed – varies depending on the presentation and site of TB in a patient’s body.

Most cases of TB can be successfully treated with a six-month course of antibiotics, says Mrs Ricketts. But drug-resistant strains of the disease can involve lengthier and more complex treatment with antibiotics and injectable drugs, and often require inpatient care.

Physiotherapy may be needed if a TB patient has a high secretion load, respiratory compromise or functional or neurological impairment. And pulmonary TB patients may need inpatient physiotherapy if they experience a long hospital stay.

‘TB can affect different parts of the body – it can be in your bladder or in your spine, or anywhere – but with pulmonary TB one of the biggest problems is that patients often become very deconditioned,’ says Ms
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