It’s no secret, I have a lot of kids. We spend a lot of time in the doctors office. Having lots of kids who loves sports and are in school means lots of TB tests. That means there’s a lot of waiting. Every time my kids have been given a TB skin test, I then spend my time obsessing over the test area. Then, it’s another trip back to the doctors office to get the results. So much time wasted. There has to be a better way!
Enter the TB Blood Test.
The TB blood test is a huge scientific advancement over the skin test that’s been in practice for over 110 years. The blood test can more accurately help diagnose tuberculosis (TB) with a more reliable result. The results of the TB skin test are completely open to visual interpretation, and can actually produce false positive results. In contrast, the results of the TB blood test are completely objective results, and they are the only available method of testing for TB where that is true.
With the TB skin test, you have to head back to the doctor for a second physical exam after a few days. That means more time spent in the waiting room and in the exam room, and then there’s the potential for that false positive I just mentioned. The skin test will show a raised lump where the tuberculin was injected. If you have ever had a TB vaccination, that can cause a false-positive result. Some patients can also experience severe itching at the puncture site which could also produce a false positive. The TB blood test will give accurate results in just one visit. That means the process is easier, saves times, and gives you peace of mind.
Here are some benefits of the TB blood test:
- It is the most accurate test available for a TB infection. (Mostly because there’s no cross reaction if you’ve ever had a TB vaccination.)
- It takes just a 3ml draw of fresh blood, regardless of the patient’s age or immune status. That makes it quick and easy.
- Your doctor can call you with the results, instead of having you come back for a second visit, saving you time and money!
If you have kids, or if you need a TB test yourself, talk to your doctor about the new TB blood test. I will be at our next visit!