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Presentation on theme: "Tetanus."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tetanus

2 Tetanus Tetanos – a greek word – to stretch
First described by Hippocrates & Susruta A Neurological disease characterised by increased muscle tone & spasms. Caused by CLOSTRIDIUM TETANI An anaerobic, motile, gram positive rod that forms oval, colourless, terminal spores – tennis racket or drumstick shape.

3 It is found worldwide in soil, in inanimate environment, in animal faeces & occasionally human faeces.


5 Epidemiology Occurs sporadically
Affects unimmunized, partially immunized & fully immunized who fail to maintain adequate immunity with booster doses of vaccine. Although it is an entirely preventable disease by immunization , the burden of disease worldwide is great.

6 More common in areas where soil is cultivated, in rural areas, in warm climates, during summer, among males.

7 Pathogenesis Contamination of wounds with spores of C.tetani.
Germination & toxin production – in wounds with low oxidation – reduction potential ( devitalized tissues, F.B, active infection ) Tetanospasmin ( neurotoxin ) Tetanolysin ( hemolysin )


9 Mode of transmission Infection is acquired by contamination of wounds with tetanus spores. Range of injuries & accidents – trivial pin prick, skin abrasion, puncture wounds, burns, human bites, animal bites & stings, unsterile surgery, IUD, bowel surgery, dental extractions, injections, unsterile division of umbilical cord, compound #, otitis media, ulcers, eye infections, gangrene NOT TRANSMITTED FROM PERSON TO PERSON

10 Types Traumatic Puerperal Otogenic Idiopathic Tetanus neonatorum
PARK 19th Generalized Neonatal local HARRISON 17th

11 Clinical features May begin from 2 days to several weeks after the injury – USUALLY 1 WEEK Remember Shorter the incubation period More severe the attack Worse the prognosis

12 Clinical features GENERALIZED TETANUS Most common
Increased muscle tone & generalized spasms Median time of onset after injury – 7 days Pt 1st notices increased tone in masseter ( Trismus, lock jaw ) Dysphagia Stiffness / pain in neck, shoulder, back muscles appear concurrently / or soon thereafter Rigid abd & stiff prox.limb muscles . Hands, feet spared.

13 trismus

14 Risus Sardonicus : Spasm of facial muscles ( frontalis & angle of mouth muscles )
Opisthotonus : Painful spasms of neck, trunk and extremity. producing characteristic bowing and arching of back Some pts develop paroxysmal, violent, painful, generalized muscle spasms – cyanosis . Spasms occur repetitively & may be spontaneous / provoked by slightest stimulation. Constant threat during gen.spasm is reduced ventilation, apnea / laryngospasm.

15 Risus sardonicus



18 Mild ds ( muscle rigidity , no / few spasms )
Moderate ds (trismus, dysphagia, rigidity, spasm) Severe ds ( freq explosive paroxysms ) Autonomic dysfn complicates severe cases hyperpyrexia, profuse sweating, peripheral vasoconstriction.

19 Neonatal Tetanus Poor feeding ,rigidity and spasms
Usually fatal if untreated Children born to inadequately immunized mothers, after unsterile treatment of umbilical stump During first 2 weeks of life. Poor feeding ,rigidity and spasms



22 Local Tetanus Uncommon form
Manifestations are restricted to muscles near the wound. Cramping and twisting in skeletal muscles surrounding the wound – local rigidity Prognosis – excellent

23 Cephalic Tetanus A rare form of local tetanus
Follows head injury / ear infection Involves one / more facial cranial nerves Trismus and localised paralysis ,usually facial nerve, often unilateral. Incubation period : few days Mortality : high


25 Diagnosis Based entirely on clinical findings
Examine all cases with wound infection & muscle stiffness Wound cultures – in suspected cases C.tetani can be isolated from wounds of pts without tetanus & freq cannot be isolated from wounds of those with tetanus Electromyograms – continous discharge of motor units, shortening / absence of silent interval seen after AP. Muscle enzymes – raised

26 Serum Anti toxin levels >= 0
Serum Anti toxin levels >= 0.1 IU/ml – protective & makes tetanus unlikely .

27 Treatment – general measures
Goal is to eliminate the source of toxin, neutralize the unbound toxin & prevent muscle spasm & providing support - resp support Admit in a quiet room in ICU . Continuous careful observation & cardiopulmonary monitoring Minimize stimulation Protect airway Explore wounds – debridement

28 NEUTRALIZE TOXIN : Inj.Human Tetanus Immunoglobulin 3000 – 6000 units IM, usually in divided doses as volume is large. ANTIBIOTIC THERAPY : Although of unproven value , antibiotics adm to eradicate vegetative cells – the source of toxin IV Penicillin million units daily for 10 days IV Metronidazole 500mg Q 6 hrly / 1gm Q 12 hrly Allergic to Penicillin : consider Clindamycin & Erythromycin

29 Control of Spasms Nurse in a quiet dark room
Avoid noise & other stimuli IV Diazepam / Lorazepam / Midazolam Barbiturates & Chlorpromazine –2nd line drugs Continued spasms : intubate & ventilate

30 Management of autonomic dysfn
Labetalol Continuous infusion of esmolol Clonidine / verapamil

31 Additional measures Pts recovering from tetanus should be actively immunized Hydration Nutrition Physiotherapy Prophylactic anticoagulation Bowel, bladder, back care

32 Prevention – Active Immunization
For partially immunized, unimmunized and recovering from tetanus It stimulates production of protective antitoxin 2 prep : combined vaccine : DPT monovalent vaccine : plain / formol toxoid tetanus vaccine , adsorbed

33 Combined vaccine According to National Immunization, 3 doses of DPT – at intervals of 4-8 wks, starting at 6 wks age, followed by booster at 18 months age 2nd booster (only DT) at 5-6 yrs 3rd booster ( only TT) after 10 yrs age

34 Monovalent vaccines higher & long lasting immunity response
Primary course of immunization – 2 doses Each 0.5 ml , injected into arm given at intervals of 1-2 months The longer the interval b/w two doses, better is the immune response 1st booster – 1 yr after the initial 2 doses 2nd Booster : 5 yrs after the 1st booster ( optional ) Freq boosters to be avoided

35 Passive immunization Temp protection – human tetanus immunoglobulin /ATS Human Tetanus Hyperimmunoglobulin : IU

36 Passive immunization ATS ( EQUINE ) :
1500 IU s/c after sensitivity testing 7 – 10 days High risk of serum sickness It stimulates formation of antibodies to it , hence a person who has once received ATS tends to rapidly eliminate subsequent doses.

37 Active & Passive Immunization
In non immunized persons 1500 IU of ATS / units of Human Ig in one arm & 0.5 ml of adsorbed tetanus toxoid into other arm /gluteal region 6 wks later, 0.5 ml of tetanus toxoid 1 yr later , 0.5 ml of tetanus toxoid

38 Prevention of neonatal tetanus
Clean delivery practices 3 cleans : clean hands, clean delivery surface, clean cord care Tetanus toxoid protects both mother & child Unimmunized pregnant women : 2 doses tetanus toxoid 1st dose as early as possible during pregnancy 2nd dose – at least a month later / 3 wks before delivery

39 Immunized pregnant women : a booster is sufficient
No need of booster in every consecutive pregnancy

40 Prevention of tetanus after injury
All wounds should be thoroughly cleaned soon after injury Remove all foreign bodies, soil, dust, necrotic tissue A – completed course of toxoid/booster < 5 yrs ago B- completed course of toxoid / booster >5 yrs ago & < 10 yrs ago C- completed course of toxoid / booster >10 yrs ago D- not completed course of toxoid / immunity status unknown

41 Wounds < 6hrs, clean, non penetrating & negligible tissue damage
Immunity Category A B C D Treatment Nothing more required Toxoid 1 dose Toxoid complete course

42 Other Wounds Immunity Category A B C D Treatment Nothing more required
Toxoid 1 dose Toxoid 1 dose + Human Tetanus Ig Toxoid complete course + Human Tetanus Ig

43 Thank You

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