igh

International Global Health Blog

What is Tetanus

International Global Health


What is Tetanus?

Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteria called Clostridium tetani -that exists worldwide in soil and in animal intestinal tracts, and as such can contaminate many surfaces and substances.

When the bacteria invade the body, they produce a poison (toxin) that causes painful muscle contractions.

 

Facts

Another name for tetanus is lockjaw; it often causes a person`s neck and jaw muscles to lock, making it hard to open the mouth or swallow – and Tetanus requires treatment in a medical facility, often in a referral hospital.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms are sudden, and include involuntary muscle tightening (muscle spasms) — often in the stomach, jaw cramping, painful muscle stiffness all over the body, trouble swallowing, headache, fever and sweating also there is changes in blood pressure and a fast heart rate

 

Complications caused by Tetanus:

Serious health problems that can happen because of tetanus include:

  • Uncontrolled/involuntary tightening of the vocal cords (laryngospasm)
  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Infections gotten by a patient during a hospital visit (hospital-acquired infections)
  • Pneumonia, a lung infection, that develops by breathing in foreign materials (aspiration pneumonia)

 

Diagnosis

If you are concerned about a wound particularly if there is a deep wound, something inside the wound or you have not been fully vaccinated or/if you are not sure if you have, contact your doctor for further assessment.

Your doctor will assess your wound and decide whether you need further treatment or and whether you need to go to referral hospital.

Doctors can diagnose tetanus by examining the patient and looking for certain symptoms.

 

Treatment

Tetanus is a medical emergency requiring healthcare in the hospital, Immediate treatment with medicine called human tetanus immune globulin (TIG), Aggressive wound care, Drugs to control muscle spasms, Antibiotics and last one is tetanus vaccination.

The treatments depend on how serious the infection is a machine to help you breathe may be required.

 

References:

World Health Organization (WHO)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

WebMD

NHS

 



We are International Global Health.

Information about health insurance available 24h/7d.