Tetanus (aka lockjaw) is an infection characterized by muscle spasms.
Tetanus. That sounds a little bit like tabble tennis?
It's an infection, which involves muscle spasms.
In the most common type, the spasms begin in the jaw and then progress to the rest of the body. These spasms usually last a few minutes each time, and occur frequently for 3-4 weeks. Spasms may be so severe that bone fractures may occur
Onset of Sx is typically 3-21 days following infection
What happens in an infection involving muscle spasms?
So most commonly, the spasms start in the jaw, and progress to the rest of the body. They go for a few minutes, each time they happen. It can be so severe, that bone fractures can happen. There are also flu-like symptoms, like a temperature, headache. Difficulty swallowing can also occur.
Caused by infection w/ bacterium Clostridium tetani
Bacteria generally enters through a break in skin (e.g. cut, puncture wound by a contaminated object)
Bacteria commonly found in soil, dust and manure
Bacteria produces toxins that interfere with muscle contractions, resulting in the typical Sx
Clinical Dx based on Sx
Prevention, w/ proper immunization w/ the tetanus vaccine
In those w/ a significant wound and <3 doses of the vaccine, both the immunization and tetanus immune globulin are recommended
In a confirmed infectino, tetanus immune globulin, or if not available, IV IG is used
Wound should be cleaned and any dead tissue removed
Muscle relaxants, to control spasms
Mechanical ventilation, if a Pt's breathing is affected
It may take months to recover
About 10% of those infected die
Doesn't spread between people
Occurs in all parts of the world, but is most frequent in hot and wet climates, where the soil contains a lot of organic matter