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Checking BCG Scar

1613 Posts

Posted:  07-Nov-2017 16:27

From time to time I get people asking me to check their BCG scar, usually as they are applying for agency healthcare work. My understanding is that it should be a GP who does this, but it feels wrong to use a GP appt for that reason. What do others think?

518 Posts

Posted:  07-Nov-2017 17:47
We had this recently and to add insult to injury the GP could not find a scar. Could be construed as occ health?? I rang our local TB service and the lovely nurse said she would see these patients. No clear guidance on this I think..  the lady had by then stormed off saying she would find another GP.

1613 Posts

Posted:  07-Nov-2017 18:15
Thanks - I'll contact our TB service, if we have one!

111 Posts

Posted:  07-Nov-2017 20:34
I have done this, in previous job I did some occupational work as part of role. As far as I know there is no guidance. I find bcg scars very interesting and not always given where they should. I don't know if adds any weight but I have also given bcg vaccination and mantoux.

108 Posts

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Posted:  08-Nov-2017 11:06
I've also been asked by patients for this usually for care job purposes. We have been advised that it is an occupational health issue as none of our GPs and nurses have had any training in occ health or BCG scars.

372 Posts

Posted:  08-Nov-2017 18:47
All BCG scar checks should be done by an OH professional page 13 Health clearance for tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV: New healthcare workers

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/382152/health_clearance_tuberculosis_hepatitis_hiv.pdfand/or BCG scar check by an occupational health professional,

it is an OH issue and not a primary care problem.

11851 Posts

Posted:  10-Nov-2017 17:42
If you have a record of a bcg vaccine on imms record also consider sending that especially if scar difficult to find? . I am not OH trained but trained and experienced at performing mantoux and bcgs and experienced at identifying bcg scars. When assisting at uni screening they do seem to arrive with forms completed by GPs and practice nurses. Agree an OH issue if required for employment

Please be informed that the above is the opinion of the author and is in no way meant to be taken as instruction.

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218 Posts

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Posted:  13-Nov-2017 07:26
My BCG training covered locating scars and what to look for (ie ensure it is not a smallpox vaccine scar, it could be) so I am happy to do this
However are you confident you can tell the difference between BCG and smallpox scars? although we havent given smallpox vaccine for many years here in UK, there are pts still around with what looks like 2 BCG scars (especially pts from other countries where smallpox was still given after we stopped in UK)
So, be very sure you know what you are looking at
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