Sometimes, unknowingly, some minor injury occurs in the body, which can later lead to tetanus. In the absence of treatment, this problem can take a serious form, due to which it is important for everyone to know about tetanus.
What is Tetanus
Tetanus is a serious bacterial disease caused by bacteria called Clostridium tetani. This bacteria can enter the body through a wound. Due to this a kind of poison is produced in the body, due to which the muscles of the body start contracting.
Usually in tetanus disease, there is a complaint of pain all over the body. It can especially affect the muscles of the jaw and neck, which can lead to trouble opening the mouth or swallowing food. In a way, the person’s jaw gets locked (fixed) in this. That is why it is also called lockjaw.
There are mainly four types of tetanus, which are as follows:
Generalized Tetanus – This is the most common form of tetanus. About 80 percent of cases are of germline tetanus. The initial symptom of this condition is jaw cramps. Apart from this, there may be complaints of spasms and pain in the muscles of the neck, central part of the body ie trunk and joints. In severe cases, there may be convulsions, ie , there may be complaints of seizures with muscle spasms and nervous system related problems.
Localized Tetanus – Cases of localized tetanus are less seen in people. In this, the patient feels spasm in the muscles around the injured area. Although its symptoms are quite mild, but in the absence of care, this condition can take a serious form.
Cephalic Tetanus – This tetanus is mainly associated with injury to the head or face. Its symptoms can appear within one to two days after the injury. This is a slight contrast to journaled tetanus. In this, instead of muscle spasm, the nerves coming out of the brain, called cranial nerves, are more likely to be paralyzed . In some cases, there may also be a spasm in the jaw muscles. It can also go on to take the form of germinated tetanus.
Neonatal Tetanus – The problem of tetanus in children is known as Neonatal Tetanus. Children who do not get the tetanus vaccine or do not get all the vaccination doses can make the child more susceptible to this infection.
Symptoms of Tetanus
As mentioned in the article, tetanus bacteria enter the body through a wound. It may take a few days for symptoms to appear. So below we are giving information related to the symptoms of tetanus, which are as follows:
- Sudden cramps in stomach and other body muscles
- Stiffness in whole body
- Jaw cramps and stiffness
- Saving a fever
- Sweating profusely
- Cramps in hands and feet
- Trouble swallowing
- Frequent urination
- Increased blood pressure
- Change in heart rate
Causes of Tetanus
As already mentioned in the article, the main cause of tetanus in the body is a bacteria called Closatridium tetani. This bacteria is present in soil, dust, manure etc. When a wound comes in contact with this bacteria, it can cause infection in the body. This bacteria can enter the body in the following situations described in the article, such as:
- Wound contamination by dust, dirt, feces or sputum
- injury by a sharp object such as a needle or nail
- Tetanus bacteria can enter the body through a burn wound.
- May result from chronic wounds and infections
- using intravenous injections
- Bacteria can spread through the body if injected into the bone
- through an incision made during the operation
- Removing the top layer of injury
- from insect bites
- through tooth infection
- compound fracture, in which the broken bone pierces the skin
Now, let’s learn about what can be the risk factors for tetanus.
Risk Factors of Tetanus
If the initial symptoms of tetanus are ignored, they can take a serious form. Because of this, many physical problems can occur. Let’s take a look at the risk factors for tetanus:
- Vocal cord paralysis. This can cause difficulty in speaking and breathing.
- Bones can also break due to muscle strain.
- Stress ulcer
- Go into a coma
- High blood pressure
- Slip joints
- Urinary obstruction
- Pneumonia problem
- Having trouble breathing
- Blood clots in the blood vessels of the lungs
- Brain damage due to lack of oxygen
- Muscle damage
- Sudden heartbeat
- Airway obstruction
How tetanus can be diagnosed, we are going to tell about it further in the article.
Diagnosis of Tetanus
There is no specific test to detect tetanus. How to diagnose tetanus can be understood through the following points.
Physical Examination – The doctor may first do a physical examination. In this, you can be asked about the various symptoms associated with tetanus. The doctor may ask about the medical history and medicines being taken. Doctors can diagnose tetanus based on the symptoms.
Spatula test: To confirm tetanus, the doctor may recommend a spatula test. In this test, a spatula is inserted into the posterior pharyngeal wall ie the back of the throat. During this, any kind of contraction in the jaw indicates infection.
Tetanus can be treated by the following methods mentioned in the article:
Proper care of the patient: A person suffering from tetanus needs to take care of food and hygiene. Apart from this, it is advisable to take proper care of the wounds.
Treatment by drugs: Understanding the seriousness of the problem of tetanus, doctors can treat it by human tetanus immune globulin (HTIG) medicine.
Use of antibiotics: Antibiotics can be used when there is a problem of tetanus. These can be helpful in fighting tetanus bacteria.
Painkillers: Painkillers can be used to reduce muscle pain and stiffness due to tetanus infection.
Vaccination: For the treatment of tetanus, the doctor may give tetanus vaccine to the patient. The tetanus vaccine can help the immune system fight off toxins.
Prevention Tips for Tetanus
Vaccination is the best way to prevent tetanus. According to the CDC, this infection can be avoided by taking the tetanus vaccine regularly on time. In addition, to prevent tetanus infection, people of all ages have been advised to take the tetanus vaccine and its booster on time.
To prevent tetanus, children are given 3 shots of the DTaP vaccine at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. After this, the fourth shot is given at the age of 12 months to 18 months. Then the next shot is given between ages 4 and 6 and one between the ages of 11 and 12. After this, it is recommended to get a booster shot every ten years.
The following measures can also be adopted to avoid tetanus infection, which are as follows:
Wound Care: To prevent tetanus infection, prompt and good wound care is essential. Do not delay first aid in case of a wound, scratch or any minor cut on the skin.
Cleanliness: To prevent tetanus, the patient should take special care of cleanliness. Hands should be cleaned frequently with soap or water.
Use of medicines: If you have not been vaccinated to prevent tetanus and if there is a serious injury, in such cases, the doctor can use medicines to stop the spread of the infection.
Consult a doctor: Understanding the seriousness of the problem, contact the doctor immediately. Also do not delay first aid in wounds, scratches or other wounds of the body.
After reading this article you must have come to know very well what is tetanus. In the article, detailed information about the causes and symptoms of tetanus will also have been found. Taking the vaccine on time is very important to prevent tetanus. Therefore, do not be careless about the tetanus vaccine. We hope this article was informative for you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can tetanus be treated?
Well, there is no cure for tetanus. Its symptoms do not take a serious form, for this the patient needs to be under the supervision of a doctor with good care of the wound. As soon as the toxicity of tetanus infection in the body decreases, the patient feels better.
Within how long after the injury should the tetanus vaccine be given?
The tetanus injection should be administered within 24 hours of the injury.
Does cleaning a wound prevent tetanus?
Yes, cleaning the wound properly can protect against tetanus to some extent.
After how many days do the symptoms of tetanus start appearing?
The average duration of tetanus is 3 to 21 days after the injury, but symptoms appear within 8 days in most cases.
What is ayurvedic medicine for tetanus?
Vaccination is considered essential to prevent tetanus. However, there has been a lack of research regarding its Ayurvedic medicine. In such a situation, consult a doctor for more information about it.
What is the home remedy for tetanus?
There is no home remedy for tetanus, for this only medical treatment is necessary.