Medical Surgical Tuberculosis #3


The infection control nurse is providing education on early warning signs of tuberculosis. Which of these characteristics may warrant further testing to determine if a client has tuberculosis?


  1. Coughing up blood and night sweats.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because coughing up bloody mucus and night sweats are early signs of tuberculosis. Other signs include constant fatigue, weight loss, and fever.

  2. Hacking unproductive cough and diarrhea.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the cough associated with TB usually produces bloody mucus. Diarrhea is not associated with a diagnosis of TB.

  3. Chest pain on breathing and blue nail beds.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because chest pain and cyanotic nail beds are not early signs of TB. These are late signs associated with severe hypoxemia.

  4. Recent exposure to influenza.
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because recent exposure to influenza is not a manifestation. Exposure to influenza is a potential etiology for complications such as pneumonia.


The focus of this question is determining the clinical manifestation most closely associated with a diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). Hemoptysis or coughing up blood ,and night sweats are classic manifestations of TB.


Learning Outcomes

Tuberculosis is an infection caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria affects the lungs but can spread to other parts of the body as well. Classic clinical manifestations include hemoptysis, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.

Test Taking Tip

Cyanosis is always a late sign of any disease process signaling severe hypoxemia. Also make sure to choose an answer that addresses what the question is asking…recent exposure to influenza is not a manifestation but rather a risk factor or etiology.

Video Rationale