14.6.1 Hygiene and disinfection
Patients with pulmonary TB produce sputum that may contain tubercle bacilli.
– In the wards, patients’ sputum containers should be large (about 200-ml), non-sterile, and sealable. They are to be replaced daily and cannot be re-used.
– In the laboratories, containers for sample collection are smaller (25-35 ml), with hermetic screw cap, non-sterile and for single use.
Sterilization or the use of disinfecting chemicals in a TB patient’s room is not necessary. Ordinary cleaning of rooms and objects (linens, dishes, etc.) used by TB patients is sufficient. After the patient is discharged, air the empty room well according to the calculated ACH.
Reusable medical items
Standard operating procedures for reprocessing items should be followed. There are no specific measures for TB services.
Standard precautions (hand hygiene, gowns, etc.) apply in TB wards, as they do in any other hospital department.
14.6.2 Waste management
Standard operating procedures for handling and the disposal of healthcare waste (including soft, sharp, etc.) should be followed. There are no specific measures for TB services.
Note: used sputum containers should be collected in a leak proof trash bag and incinerated without filling the containers with chlorine solution before incineration (this can produce toxic gases).