Check, check, and check againBMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7247.1452 (Published 27 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1452
- Geoff Scott, consultant clinical microbiologist
A well known author came in at the end of our tuberculosis clinic with an x ray which suggested tuberculosis. He was well but his contact was a man with AIDS and tuberculosis on the ward. He had no symptoms and the physical examination was normal so, as is customary, I asked him to provide some sputum, which he managed with great perseverance, and blood and arranged to see him a few days later.
He had a partner and child, and I called them to the contact clinic for Heaf tests and chest x ray examinations, which turned out to be negative. His blood tests were normal and the sputum was negative on direct examination, but I was so sure that his chest x ray …