Monday, July 25, 2011

Right upper lobe PTB: What does it mean?

I am supposed to give my opinion about Pnoy's SONA delivered earlier this afternoon. However a more pressing matter came to my attention.

A very dear friend of mine has a problem with her chest x-ray. Honestly, I cannot quite piece together how it came to be. That is why I think I'd have trouble relaying the problem to you. Please read the following facts because that is how exactly she told them to me:

1. Back in 2008 she had a Tuberculosis.
2. She had undergone treatment for 6 months and was clear of the disease.
3. February of 2009 she applied for a job but wasn't accepted because they found traces of Tuberculosis in her chest x-ray.
4. She had a 3-day sputum test and the results is negative.
5. But every time she had her chest x-ray it says on the IMPRESSION: Right upper lobe PTB. Her last x-ray was on October of 2009. It also says IMPRESSION: Right upper lobe PTB but she was told that it was just a scar left by the disease, other than that everything is normal.
6. She was advised to show her previous chest x-rays when she has to take a new one.
7. July of 2011, she did just that. She was declared fit to work. Her happiness is beyond compare.
8. Earlier this afternoon when she turn over requirements, her employer asked to see her previous chest x-rays and asked about the "Right upper lobe PTB" she was not quite sure what to say. Fear engulfed her because she was afraid she would again be disqualified from the job.

That is her story. Please, if anyone reading this knows about that "IMPRESSION: Right upper lobe PTB" business, feel free to comment. It would really help a lot. She was just here this afternoon and I could feel the deep depression emanating from her. I sincerely want to help her.


I asked the same thing on Yahoo! Answers, someone answered and I quote:

a post tuberculosis lung still has abnormal reading on x-ray, that's because the 'scar' of the previous disease remains, but if she's declared clear of tuberculosis she most likely won't be contagious to others. But it's also possible for tuberculosis to have a relapse. So maybe the best solution I can think of is by consulting the doctor again, have a check and ask him to make some sort of legal document declaring that she is free of disease. In my country (Indonesia), there is some sort of letter declaring the patient is healthy, but I don't know about other countries

We went to the doctor who treated her 5 years ago and found out that yes, that is indeed the case. We were told that it would be hard for her to find a job especially in food industry. Fortunately when she submitted her previous x-rays she was still hired. Thanks to God! Prayer is still the best solution to anything.


  1. Was it really hard to get a job if u were a ptb patient... My brother can't also be cleared of his medical exam becoz of the xray result and found out a ptb on the right upper lobe but negative with his sputum test...I feel so sorry for him coz he really wants to word oversea for his family... Pls advice me...thanks

  2. Google DOLE D.O. NO. 73-05 regarding TB in workplace. So long as the employee/applicant is negative of PTB (with medical certificate) he/she is entitled to work with no discrimination.