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The tuberculosis service was established in St James’s Hospital in 2004.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection caused by bacteria. The most common place to have TB is in the lungs, but it can occur anywhere in the body. TB infection may be active or latent. In active TB the disease is alive and the person will have symptoms. In latent TB the disease is asleep and the person has no symptoms. TB can be cured.

  • A multidisciplinary team comprising of consultant respiratory physicians, registrar, tuberculosis (TB) clinical nurse specialist, senior pharmacist, microbiology laboratory, public health doctors and nurses and administration staff work together. Their aim is to ensure patients receive the appropriate TB investigations, treatment and support. Most patients with TB are treated as an outpatient.

    There are three types of TB clinics in St James’s Hospital:

    1. Professor Keane and Professor McLaughlin’s TB clinic: People with potential or confirmed active TB attend this clinic for diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of TB disease. Also, people with possible or confirmed Latent TB attend this clinic.
    2. Nurse Led latent TB Clinic. People attend this clinic for treatment of their latent TB.
    3. Contact Tracing Clinic: This service is provided by public health doctors and nurses. Those that are known contacts of people with TB disease attend this clinic for screening and appropriate management of latent tuberculosis.

    Inpatient Service

    There are three negative pressure (isolation) rooms in Hospital 5 Unit 2, which are dedicated to the TB service. These are primarily used for patients with TB that require a long stay in hospital. In addition, similarly equipped isolation rooms throughout the hospital are utilised by the service. The majority of patients with TB are not admitted under the TB team, however, the TB team does consult on the TB inpatients and all patients with TB are followed up in the TB outpatient clinic.  

  • All patients need to be referred by GP or a hospital. Referrals can be made via Healthlink.

    Written referrals can be made to:

    TB Service
    Respiratory Department
    St James's Hospital
    James Street
    Dublin 8

  • Costs

    All tuberculosis (TB) medication for active TB is dispensed at our clinic by the pharmacist. TB investigations, tests, hospital admissions, outpatient visits and medications are free of charge.

    What happens when you attend a clinic?

    If you have active TB you will most likely need to attend the TB clinic once a month while you are on treatment. Your course of treatment will depend on several factors and will be decided by your doctor.  A combination of antibiotics is used to treat TB and the course lasts for a minimum of 6 months.  At each clinic visit you will need to check in, be weighed and then have a blood test taken. Following your review by the doctor, the pharmacist will dispense your TB medication. From time to time you will be sent for a chest x-ray but this is not needed at each visit. Some patients will be referred to their local public health nurse for assistance and support with their TB medications.

    Never stop taking TB medication unless instructed to by your doctor, nurse or pharmacist. If medication is not taken correctly drug resistance can occur which makes the antibiotics ineffective and you may become more unwell.

    Some patients attending the clinic will be asked to wear a mask. This is to help stop the spread of TB to other patients and staff. The doctor or nurse will make this decision based on information they have about your TB or if they suspect you have TB.

    For queries about your TB treatment you can contact the TB clinical nurse specialist on (01) 428 4716 or (01) 410 3000 or email: Ldolan@stjames.ie

  • The tuberculosis service does not offer mantoux testing for work or travel purposes.

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is a notifiable infectious disease. When a physician makes a new TB diagnosis he /she will inform the Medical Officer of Health in the appropriate Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health will liaise with the treating physician and arrange for the appropriate contract tracing to be carried out. They will send appointments to the relevant contacts, and arrange for treatment and follow up of those contacts.

Contact Details

Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm

How to find us

Outpatient Department, ground floor, main hospital building