general question.


how many of us have come across a patient suffering from tetanus?, if you have, what were your challenges while nursing the patient?.


Terry from Kenya.

a small recap" a must read"! for every clinical nurse.

Just a small recap.

Causes and Transmission

Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteria called Clostridium tetani. Tetanus bacteria are everywhere in the environment, including soil,dust and manure.

Common WaysTetanus Gets Into Your Body

The bacteria can get into the body through broken skin, usually through injuries from contaminated objects. Certain breaks in the skin that are more likely to get infected with tetanus bacteria. These include:

  • Wounds contaminated with dirt, poop (feces), or spit (saliva)
  • Wounds caused by an object puncturing the skin, like a nail or needle (puncture wounds)
  • Burns
  • Crush injuries
  • Injuries with dead tissue

RareWays Tetanus Gets Into Your Body

Tetanus has also been linked to clean superficial wounds (when only the top most layer of skin is scraped off), surgical procedures, insect bites, dental infections, compound fractures (a break in the bone where it is exposed), chronic sores and infections, and intravenous(IV) drug use.

The incubation period - time from exposure to illness - is usually3-21 days (average 10 days), although it may range from 1 day toseveral months, depending on the kind of wound. Most cases occur within 14 days. In general, shorter incubation periods are seen with more heavily contaminated wounds, more severe disease, and a worse outcome of the disease (prognosis).

from the CDC website.....

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

Is this for school?

Tetanus is very seldom seen in the US due to our wide spread vaccination programs. Unfortunately due to some hysteria about vaccination we are seeing diseases that have been out of the main stream for a long time.

I have only seen one patient with tetanus in 35 years. There was a resurgence of tetanus in Chicago area years ago with an unknown bad batch of vaccination that was used. Several patients died.

The difficulty in caring for this patient was getting a diagnosis. No one knew what was wrong with him. A physician from India came into the unit one night about 3 days after admission and knew what the patient had. Our patient survived. Others did not.


10,215 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, Transport, L&D, Hospice. Has 44 years experience.

We used to see tetanus in the unvaccinated Amish community near our PICU.

Brutal disease.

blondy2061h, MSN, RN

1 Article; 4,094 Posts

Specializes in Oncology. Has 15 years experience.

I've never seen tetanus. Even amongst families I know that are anti-vaccine, few are anti-tetanus vaccine.

Specializes in Cardiology and ER Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

Can't say I've ever seen a patient with Tetanus, nor every heard of anyone having been infected with Tetanus.