Friday, September 25, 2015

More Accuracy in Less Time: the TB Blood Test {#TBBloodTest}

TB Blood Test logo
I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the TB Blood Test. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

If I were to try to name all of the differences between my days in elementary school and my girls' experiences today, the list just might be endless.

The hours I spent learning cursive writing versus the time they spend in technology class; the rote memorization of multiplication tables as opposed to today's advanced math; their newly-remodeled, amazing library versus... did my school even have a library? I sure don't remember one.

Another difference? I have memories of standing with my classmates in a long line in the hallway as we waited for the nurse to administer a tuberculosis (TB) test to each of our arms... which was then followed up a few days later by a glance to see if there was a raised lump at the injection site (and complete rejection and avoidance by peers). Really? How was that a normal school occurrence?

These days I'm thrilled that not only is my daughters' school experience enhanced by technology advancements and updated educational methods, but that I'm able to provide them top-notch check-ups and medical care where it belongs: their pediatrician's office.

And forget the wait, hassle, false positives, and more that can come along with the 110-year-old skin TB test. Today we can skip all that in favor of the TB Blood Test.

blood test

It is one thing to dread a winter cold or to cross our fingers that we won't discover dreaded lice in our children's hair, but neither of those would make my heart sink as much as finding out that someone in my family had TB.

Tuberculosis is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. While it usually affects the lungs, TB can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine and, in the worst cases, can cause death without treatment. So the earlier (and more accurate) detection, the better!

TB stats

With the traditional TB skin test, called the Mantoux test, a small amount of fluid called tuberculin is injected into the skin in the lower part of the arm. That person must then return within 48 to 72 hours to have a trained health care worker look for a reaction at the injection site (a raised, hard area or swelling), and if present, measure its size using a ruler.

TB Mantoux testWhile having to find time to fit in another visit to the doctor for an examination is a hassle in itself, the Mantoux test has other downfalls as well. A previous TB vaccination is likely to cause a false-positive result; individuals may experience severe itching at the puncture site; and the results themselves are subjective and open to visual interpretation.

Fast forward to TB blood tests, a major scientific advancement for the diagnosis of TB infection. These tests, also called interferon-gamma release assays or IGRAs, involve taking only a 3ml blood sample, testing it in a laboratory, and then delivering laboratory-based results to families within 24 hours, with no need to return to the doctor's office!

On top of the convenience of only requiring one visit, the TB blood test has been proven more accurate in identifying the infection, especially in children, as there is no cross reaction with a previous TB vaccination. Why wouldn't we want more reliable, completely objective results in less time?

TB Blood Test

I don't know too many people who complain about having too much time on their hands these days, so being able to receive high quality care and accurate test results is just one way to lessen our daily stress and worries. There are enough aspects that I have to fret about when I send my children off to school that I'll do what I can to ensure they are as safe and healthy as possible!

Find out more about the TB blood test by talking to your doctor so that you too can experience more ease, more time, and more certainty when it comes to taking care of your family.


Unknown said...

I didn't know that TB infects 30% of the world's population. It's astonishing that someone dies of TB every 21 seconds. I never knew TB was so severe or common.

slehan said...

Last TB test I had was the stick in the arm & then look at it. Wish they'd had this back then.

slehan at juno dot com

JewelWood said...

I did not know TB was this common. I do not even remember being tested for TB. I think it is a good thing to get tested to make sure that you do not have this deadly disease!

slehan said...

Got my flu shot today. This test would be just as simple.

slehan at juno dot com