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19 October 1999 Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM), an organization of more than 115,000 physicians trained in internal medicine. The following highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For a copy of an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656 or 215-351-2656.

Tuberculosis Was Transmitted Among Inmates and Guards in a City Jail

Jails are a prime site for detecting—and possibly transmitting—tuberculosis (TB), a new study finds (Article, p. 557). In an urban jail during a three-year period, 38 inmates and five guards were diagnosed with active tuberculosis. Researchers also found that 43 percent of people in the city with newly discovered tuberculosis in this period had spent some time in the jail before diagnosis. An editorial says inmates in jails are a well-defined risk group that should be aggressively targeted for TB detection and treatment (Editorial, p. 617).

Even Experienced Physicians Face Barriers Detecting Domestic Violence

A new qualitative study of six focus groups of emergency department physicians, obstetrician/gynecologists and primary care physicians identified five components of successful work with victims of domestic violence (Article, p. 578). The groups also suggested that incorporating abuse questions in routine medical histories is a legitimate goal in itself for physicians, who often have a "fix-it" or "cure-it" mentality and "burn out" handling domestic abuse cases. Authors say "compassionate asking" gives the message that abuse is wrong, women do not deserve it and their physician cares. An editorial says that dealing successfully with domestic abuse, a complex social problem, will require changes in hospital and office procedures, insurance priorities and improvements in community-based programs that protect battered women and their children from harm (Editorial, p. 619).

New Vaccines and Drugs Will Improve Preventing and Treating Flu

An editorial reviews current and new vaccines and drugs for influenza (Editorial, p. 621). The writer says the best time to get vaccinated is October to mid-November and suggests that families with both children and at-risk elderly persons consider vaccinating all family members.

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