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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know anything about the BCG vax? I am not looking for pro/anti info, just general info. Does anyone have any good links?

Why I'm asking...

I (not my child) think had one in 2000. I was working as a CNA in a nursing home. On orientation a nurse went around and gave all of us newbies a vax to TB. I am assuming it was the bcg. The facility is now closed, and I no longer live in that area, so it would be difficult to get records.

I was in LPN school at the time, so could have been exposed to TB. I definatly was exposed to TB in the nursing home.

Fast forward... Graduate LPN school, quit CNA work and was accepted into RN school. Need PPD. PPD positive. Crap. Repeat positive. Double crap. Chest x-ray negative. Now the dilemma starts...

Was the + ppd from exposure to TB or bcg vax... I have no clue since I had both. RN school not happy. I take 9 months of Isoniazid so I can go to school/clinicals w/o problems. Problem solved. No major adverse reactions to medication. PA I saw at the time (I no longer see her) did not believe that I received a BCG vax. She said they weren't routinely given in the USA, only in other countries. What else could it have been? I do remember being told by the nurse giving the injection it was to prevent TB.

Fast forward a few years. I can not take PPD now since I had a positive reaction in the past. This is a huge pita. Now I need a chest xray every year at work, or to start a new job. In 2005 I was exempt since I was pregnant and the previous years xray was negative.

I will be returning to work this January, very part time. I am lactating. I really do not want a chest xray, but I guess I will just pump and dump for the day.

Long story, I know. I am getting to the point... If it was a BCG vax (which I am assuming it was) would I always have a positive reaction? It has been around 6 years since the vax. Its such a pita to go for chest xrays all the time, on my own time. (Im a nightshifter, so its not easy to schedule one while at work) It would be so much easier to get the ppd done while on the clock instead of making an extra trip. And needing dh to miss work to watch dd, as I will NOT take her into a hospital and risk her exposure to who knows what if the appt is not for her. So if it was a positive reaction from the bcg, will the vax ever "wear off"?

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read my run on sentences and endless rambling... Double thanks to anyone who can offer some info and/or good links!!
 

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BCG will cause you to have a positive PPD for the rest of your life, yes. You don't have to do the x-ray if they'll accept a sputum test instead.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by GooeyRN
Does anyone know anything about the BCG vax? I am not looking for pro/anti info, just general info. Does anyone have any good links?

Why I'm asking...

I (not my child) think had one in 2000. I was working as a CNA in a nursing home. On orientation a nurse went around and gave all of us newbies a vax to TB. I am assuming it was the bcg. The facility is now closed, and I no longer live in that area, so it would be difficult to get records.

I was in LPN school at the time, so could have been exposed to TB. I definatly was exposed to TB in the nursing home.

Fast forward... Graduate LPN school, quit CNA work and was accepted into RN school. Need PPD. PPD positive. Crap. Repeat positive. Double crap. Chest x-ray negative. Now the dilemma starts...

Was the + ppd from exposure to TB or bcg vax... I have no clue since I had both. RN school not happy. I take 9 months of Isoniazid so I can go to school/clinicals w/o problems. Problem solved. No major adverse reactions to medication. PA I saw at the time (I no longer see her) did not believe that I received a BCG vax. She said they weren't routinely given in the USA, only in other countries. What else could it have been? I do remember being told by the nurse giving the injection it was to prevent TB.

Fast forward a few years. I can not take PPD now since I had a positive reaction in the past. This is a huge pita. Now I need a chest xray every year at work, or to start a new job. In 2005 I was exempt since I was pregnant and the previous years xray was negative.

I will be returning to work this January, very part time. I am lactating. I really do not want a chest xray, but I guess I will just pump and dump for the day.

Long story, I know. I am getting to the point... If it was a BCG vax (which I am assuming it was) would I always have a positive reaction? It has been around 6 years since the vax. Its such a pita to go for chest xrays all the time, on my own time. (Im a nightshifter, so its not easy to schedule one while at work) It would be so much easier to get the ppd done while on the clock instead of making an extra trip. And needing dh to miss work to watch dd, as I will NOT take her into a hospital and risk her exposure to who knows what if the appt is not for her. So if it was a positive reaction from the bcg, will the vax ever "wear off"?

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read my run on sentences and endless rambling... Double thanks to anyone who can offer some info and/or good links!!
You don't need to pump and dump after an x-ray http://www.kellymom.com/newman/14mor..._bf_myths.html
 

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I would really try hard to get those records. If you did infact have the BCG, then they should leave you alone, forever.
I would start with the company who owned the nursing home, followed by the state health dept of the nursing home, then the doctors who saw patients in the nursing home, the nurse who gave you the shot should have taken records and placed them with your employment files. By law records should have been held on to, I would think.
I also wonder besides the sputum test if there is a titer for the BCG vaccine... I've never heard that there was, so sputum test maybe the only option, if no records can be tracked down.
I grew up in Latin America where it is common to find individuals with the BCG vaccine. And PPD is a joke as well as Tine in the region due to the fact most everyone has been exposed or given the BCG.
 

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I'm 99.9% certain it wasn't BCG. Most likely it was either Td or Pneumovax that you received. You probably had a positive skin test because of some type of mycoplasmal infection (TB or otherwise).

Quote:
Why aren't people in the United States vaccinated with BCG?
BCG vaccine is used in countries of high endemicity to help prevent tuberculosis disease. A more effective strategy for the prevention of tuberculosis in countries where the endemicity is low, is to identify infected persons using a Mantoux (PPD) skin test, and eliminate the infection with antituberculous drugs. This is the strategy used in the United States. (9/96)
http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2021f.htm

But yes, once you've had a positive PPD you shouldn't do skin testing anymore because it will continue to be positive. Sometimes if you have your health history (PPD results, initial CXR, treatment documentation, documentation that you've been routinely assessed as being asymptomatic..) they will go with that if that's what your state or county health dept recommends instead of requiring annual CXR. Or they might accept sputum cultures X3 instead. You should give your health depts a call & see what they say before you address your employer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for taking the time to write! I'm glad I won't have to pump and dump. I hate wasting milk! I am glad to know that I will always have a positive reaction to the ppd, so I won't waste my time getting one. I would assume it would have always been positive with or with out the BCG from being exposed to the TB patients (I did not wear proper masks at first, no one knew they had TB for the first few days they were there, until sputum results were in) and who knows how many other patients I was exposed to that had it anyway. Thanks for writing. I knew someone on here would know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by amnesiac
I'm 99.9% certain it wasn't BCG. Most likely it was either Td or Pneumovax that you received. You probably had a positive skin test because of some type of mycoplasmal infection (TB or otherwise).

http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p2021f.htm

But yes, once you've had a positive PPD you shouldn't do skin testing anymore because it will continue to be positive. Sometimes if you have your health history (PPD results, initial CXR, treatment documentation, documentation that you've been routinely assessed as being asymptomatic..) they will go with that if that's what your state or county health dept recommends instead of requiring annual CXR. Or they might accept sputum cultures X3 instead. You should give your health depts a call & see what they say before you address your employer.
OOPS, I didn't see your post until after I wrote my reply. I did read that in nursing school, about you should not receive further ppd testing once positive, but did not know if that held true for someone who had a BCG vax or not (I have no idea if they work well or not or for how long) I did try the link, but it did not work. It may not be the link... My cable modem has been funky lately (I know nothing about computers) So I will try it again later. Thanks for writing. I hope I can get the link to work.
 
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