Analysis of Connecticut TB deaths shows missed opportunities

A recent study on tuberculosis mortality in Connecticut from 2007-2009 shows many missed opportunities where lives could have been saved.

The purpose of the study, which was conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, was to assess the manner of death among Connecticut TB patients in order to identify and assess possible missed opportunities to save lives.

The study population consisted of all of those diagnosed with TB who were reported to the Connecticut TB Control Program from 2007-2009. The study utilized TB Control Program records, medical records, autopsy reports and death certificates.

The researchers categorized TB-related deaths to find possible errors in diagnosis and medical treatments and then compared the results to surveillance data regarding TB survivors. During the period examined, 20 percent of the 300 known TB patients in Connecticut died as a result of their infection.

Analysis of the data showed that the majority of deaths among TB patients in Connecticut during that time were related to TB. The researchers concluded that missed opportunities were commonplace. In addition, the study suggested that patients who use alcohol excessively and are of an older age may require more monitoring in order to prevent death.