Tetanus is an infectious disease that results from the spores of the bacterium Clostridium
tetani. Spores of the bacterium Clostridium tetani are available everywhere in the surrounding,
including the soil, feces of humans and animals, ash, and rusty objects (Mayo Clinic, 2022).
Tetanus infection is an adverse health issue for pregnant women and newborn babies, especially
those without immunization with tetanus vaccines. Tetanus infection remains a considerable
public health concern globally, especially in developing countries with unclean birth procedures
and low immunization coverage. Neonatal tetanus takes place when nonsterile tools are utilized
to cut the umbilical cord. The ensuing discussion describes the causes, treatment, and prevention
of tetanus disease.
Tetanus disease is a life-threatening illness that has no cure. Therefore, the treatment of
tetanus involves the management of complications and symptoms to resolve the tetanus toxin.
The signs and symptoms of tetanus include stiff and spasmed muscles in the jaw, difficulty
swallowing, painful rigidity in the neck muscles, and tension in the abdominal muscles. The
signs and symptoms of tetanus infection change as the disease advances in the body. Some signs
and symptoms include fever, hypertension, low blood pressure, severe sweating, and rapid heart
The bacterium that causes tetanus (Clostridium tetani) remains dormant in the soil and
animal feces until it finds a host. When a dormant bacterium enters a wound, the cells become
active due to the conducive environment for growth. As the bacterium cells divide and grow,
they release toxins known as tetanospasmin, which impairs the nerves in the body responsible for
Various risk factors increase the infection of tetanus diseases, such as wounds exposed to
manure or soil. Other risk factors include a foreign object in a wound, such as a nail, infected
skin patches for people who are diabetic, a medical history of people with immune-suppressing
conditions, and unsanitary sharing of needles for illegal drugs. Upon detecting signs and
symptoms of tetanus disease, the doctor conducts a laboratory examination on a patient. A doctor
diagnoses tetanus disease based on signs and symptoms, such as muscle pain, rigidity, and
Other methods that can diagnose tetanus disease include a physical examination.
Vaccination and medication history. Nonetheless, a laboratory test is recommended if the doctor
suspects the causes are resulting from another condition. Since there is no cure for tetanus, a
tetanus infection requires long-term and emergency supportive care. Treatment for tetanus
consists of medications and wound care to ease symptoms. Supportive care for tetanus diseases
is done in the intensive care unit.
Wound care involves cleaning the cut by removing debris, dirt, or foreign materials that
may provide a conducive environment for the bacteria to grow and divide. In conjunction with
this, health providers should remove dead tissues that might provide a conducive environment
for the bacteria to grow. Various medications are used in the treatment of tetanus disease. Some
medications used in the treatment of tetanus include antitoxins, sedatives, antibiotics, and
vaccinations. Antitoxin therapy is a group of medications utilized to target toxins that have not
attacked tissues in the central nervous system.
Tetanus treatment using antitoxin is known as passive immunization, a human antibody
to the toxin. Sedatives are medications used to slow down the functioning of the nervous system,
which assists in preventing muscle spasms. Vaccinations against tetanus play a significant role in
boosting the immune system’s fight against toxins. Antibiotics help in fighting the tetanus
bacterium, and they are administered either through an injection or orally. Other medications can
be used to regulate involuntary muscle activity, including breathing and heartbeat. Morphine is
among the most commonly used drug for sedation.
Supportive therapy used in the treatment of tetanus diseases includes making the airways
clear through the provision of breathing assistance. Some patients are assisted by putting a
feeding tube in the stomach to provide nutrients. During the treatment of tetanus disease, a
patient should be provided with a conducive environment free from excessive light, noise, and
triggers of spasms. Besides medication therapy, home remedies and lifestyle change can be used
to treat tetanus disease. Proper wound care is essential in case of any cut.
Therefore, patients should seek medical attention after experiencing a deep cut, puncture
wound, bite by an animal, or a cut contaminated with feces, dirt, rust, soil, and saliva. If a person
is unsure of the last time he had the tetanus vaccine, they should seek medical attention for a
vaccination booster. People with minor wounds can prevent tetanus infection through controlled
bleeding. Control bleeding involves exerting pressure on the injured part to prevent bleeding.
Cleaning the wound involves rinsing the wound with running water or saline solution after the
bleeding has stopped.
Antibiotics can be used to discourage the growth of bacterial infection by applying a thin
layer of antibiotic ointment or cream on the wound. A minor wound should be covered using a
bandage to prevent the wound from harmful bacteria and keep the wound clean. In conjunction
with this, wounds should be cleaned thoroughly before covering them with a bandage. The
material used to address the wound should be changed after rinsing and applying antibiotic
ointment. If an antibiotic lead to adverse reactions, such as rash, it should be changed to
Wound care and vaccination are among the effective ways to prevent tetanus infection.
However, if a patient is severely hurt and does not have protection from a tetanus vaccine, a
doctor should prescribe medication. In contemporary society, vaccination is an effective way to
prevent tetanus infection. Nonetheless, protection using a vaccine does not last for a lifetime.
Therefore, if a person has had a tetanus vaccine before, she needs to get regular vaccination to
keep the immunity against the disease high.
The center for diseases control and infection recommends booster shots throughout life
and a tetanus vaccine for people of all ages (CDC, 2019). Immediate and proper wound care after
an injury is effective in preventing an infection. Patients should not delay first aid on minor
injuries, . Some of the non-infected wounds include scrapes,
blisters, and cracks in the skin. People should practice proper wash of hands by using alcoholbased hand rub, water, and soap. Patients should consult health providers for further advice in
case of complications. The world health organization recommends six doses of tetanus-toxoidcontaining vaccines.
The first vaccination should begin at the age of 6 weeks of age, with a minimum interval
of 4 weeks between doses (, 2018). Routine immunization of tetanus
is administered worldwide during antenatal care contacts. Neonatal tetanus can be prevented by
immunization of women of reproductive age with . Additional
practices that can prevent tetanus infection include cord care and clean delivery during
childbirth. Proper wound care procedures should be observed during dental and surgical
CDC. (2019). Tetanus: Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/tetanus/about/prevention.html
Mayo Clinic. (2022). Tetanus. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseasesconditions/tetanus/symptoms-causes/syc-20351625
World Health Organization. (2018). Tetanus. https://www.who.detail/tetanus
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