TB skin test risks? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 09-08-2012, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids' school district requires volunteers to have an up-to-date TB skin test.  I'm not happy about this, but with both kids in public school, I may as well suck it up and get the test done so I can volunteer.

 

I've Googled it but am always interested in non-mainstream info about potential side effects.  I had a TB skin test about 16 years ago and don't remember any issues, but I was a lot younger and healthier then.

 

TIA!

 

(I know this isn't a vaccination, but thought this was a more appropriate forum to post in.)


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#2 of 9 Old 09-08-2012, 10:11 PM
 
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There are two non-invasive alternatives. You could do a sputum test, where you hack up some mucus with a deep cough, or you could take the Quantiferon blood test.

 

People who are allergic to phenol can't get the TB skin test, so it seems that they would have to accept one of those alternatives.

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#3 of 9 Old 09-08-2012, 10:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ma2two View Post

There are two non-invasive alternatives. You could do a sputum test, where you hack up some mucus with a deep cough, or you could take the Quantiferon blood test.

 

People who are allergic to phenol can't get the TB skin test, so it seems that they would have to accept one of those alternatives.

 

Thanks!

 

I don't think I have an allergy to phenol, so I don't know that the school district would accept an alternative without a medical need.


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#4 of 9 Old 09-08-2012, 11:10 PM
 
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The Quantiferon blood test has become pretty mainstream and widely used.

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#5 of 9 Old 09-12-2012, 11:01 AM
 
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A sputum test is not a substitute for a TB test. A sputum test only shows active TB. You need three consecutive daily samples. They can take weeks to get a final result on, as TB grows very slowly in culture. A TB test like the school is requiring tests for both active and latent TB.

The quantiferon test should be accepted. It is actually more sensitive and specific than a skin test.
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#6 of 9 Old 09-12-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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I'd do the blood test. I single blood draw is much less painful than the skin test; I have had that twice and it hurts. Cause they keep moving around the needle within the skin layers into 4 different spots and it is darn painful.

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#7 of 9 Old 09-12-2012, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the feedback!  I have an appointment with my primary care physician for a different issue next week, so I will ask him then if he can order the test.  I doubt it will be covered by insurance though - does anyone know about how much the blood test runs?  The skin test is free through the school district.  


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#8 of 9 Old 09-12-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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Not sure how much it costs.  I would just call a local lab and ask them. It's called the Quantiferon Gold test.  

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#9 of 9 Old 09-26-2012, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks all.  I talked to my doctor today and he ordered the Quantiferon test for me, and said that insurance will probably cover it because it's cheaper overall than the skin test, with man hours and all.  And the school said they will absolutely accept a printout of the results, so we are good to go.  :)


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