Send to

Choose Destination
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2013 Sep;34(9):967-72. doi: 10.1086/671732. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Prevalence and predictors of compliance with discontinuation of airborne isolation in patients with suspected pulmonary tuberculosis.

Author information

Division of Infectious Diseases, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.



Examine the use of airborne isolation by identifying reasons for nontimely discontinuation and predictors of compliance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Compliance with guidelines should result in timely (within 48 hours) discontinuation of isolation in patients without infectious pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).


Retrospective, observational study.


A private, university-affiliated, tertiary-care medical center.


All patients in airborne isolation for suspected pulmonary TB from June through December 2011.


Chart reviews were performed to identify airborne isolation practices and delayed (greater than 48 hours) or very delayed (greater than 72 hours) discontinuation. We used descriptive statistics and logistic regression to determine independent predictors of nontimely discontinuation of isolation.


We identified 113 patients (mean age ± standard deviation, [Formula: see text] years; male sex, 75.2%; white race, 15.9%; mean collection interval ± standard deviation, [Formula: see text] hours). Delayed and very delayed isolation discontinuation was noted in 81% and 49% of patients, respectively. No significant differences in demographic characteristics and clinical characteristics were identified between groups. Predictors of timely (within 48 hours) airborne isolation discontinuation included use of alternate diagnosis for discontinuation of isolation ([Formula: see text]), early infectious diseases (ID) consultation ([Formula: see text]), pulmonary consultation ([Formula: see text]), average sputum collection interval less than 24 hours ([Formula: see text]), and need for more than 1 induced sputum specimen ([Formula: see text]). Adjusting for potential confounders, pulmonary consultation (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)], 0.14 [0.03-0.58]), alternate diagnosis for discontinuation of isolation (OR [95% CI], 4.5 [1.3-15.8]), and early ID consultation (OR [95% CI], 4.0 [1.1-14.8]) were independently associated with timely discontinuation.


Timely airborne isolation discontinuation occurs in only 18.6% of cases and is an opportunity for cost savings, improved efficiency, and potentially patient safety and satisfaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center