Had multiple PPD's can this be harmful?


  • Specializes in SN, LTC, REHAB, HH.

A friend of mine a cna was talking to me about her ppd. in january she had a ppd and she recently had a ppd done a few weeks ago for another job but she lost the results and wanted to know if having another ppd will do anything to her. i told her i wasn't sure. her employer does a 2 step ppd for employees. is this something she should be concerned about?


613 Posts

Specializes in student; help!.

I have to do a 2-step for school and I'm not worried about it. What are you worried it's going to do, exactly?

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

If a person keeps receiving PPD skin tests and continues to have negative reactions to them, there's no harm in this. She can only continue to receive PPD skin tests if the results are always negative.

However, if a person has ever had one positive PPD skin test, it is strongly recommended that he/she never undergo another skin test again. This is because the positive reaction becomes stronger with each repeated skin test in a person who has already been exposed to the TB mycobacterium. Therefore, your friend might want to get chest x-rays from this point forward if she has had at least one positive skin test.


67 Posts

This is according to the NIH:


"There is a very small risk of severe redness and swelling of the arm in people who have had a previous positive PPD test and who have the test again. There also have been a few cases of this reaction in people who have not been tested before."

Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003839.htm

Simply Complicated

1,100 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Neuro, ICU, travel RN, Psych. Has 5 years experience.

She should be able to get a copy of the PPD that was recently done from the job it was for. It's legally her medical record so they have to give her a copy.


887 Posts

I was always told at the doctor that when I get a PPD I have to go back and have it read in 2-3 days but if I don't go back to have it read in that time-frame I have to have it done again so I guess there's no real risk.


385 Posts

Specializes in SN, LTC, REHAB, HH.

Thank you all so much. I just called her and told her there is no risk, thank God. so far she never had a positive ppd before she was just wondering if getting another one in such a short time would do anything.