Tetanus is caused by spores of Clostridium tetani bacteria. It is a serious disease and can be fatal. After getting deposited in a wound, the spores multiply rapidly and produce a neurotoxin that interferes with nerves that control muscle movement. When tetanospasmin produced at the site of injury enters the bloodstream, it spreads rapidly around the body, and causes tetanus symptoms.
When to consult a doctor for tetanus
When to go to the hospital
Minor wounds with mild degrees of contamination can be managed in most doctors’ clinic.
However, if your wound is large, contains crushed tissues, or is heavily contaminated, visit a hospital's emergency department for evaluation. You may be given both tetanus booster dose and tetanus antibodies if the wound appears to be tetanus-prone. TIG (tetanus immunoglobulin) should be given as soon as possible. TIG is usually given to people with incomplete immunisations with a tetanus-prone wound.
Visit a hospital if you develop any symptoms suggestive of tetanus after a recent injury. Some symptoms suggestive of tetanus include:
Who to consult
Some health professionals who can be consulted for tetanus include:
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