Understanding Tetanus Disease – Tetanus is a disease caused by a bacterial infection of Clostridium tetani. The disease is characterized by increased general stiffness and spasms of skeletal muscle.

Although tetanus can be prevented, immunity to this disease does not last a lifetime. Therefore, a booster injection is required if a person suffers injury susceptible to tetanus infection.



Complications that can occur in patients with tetanus are as follows:

  • Rigid muscle stiffness and vocal cords
  • Bone injuries marked by bone shift to exit from their normal position
  • Fracture
  • Lung infections
  • Neurological disorders
  • Decreased consciousness to coma

Diagnosis of Tetanus disease

Usually, the diagnosis of tetanus is based solely on general physical examination. Such as examination of blood pressure, body temperature, respiratory rate, and pulse rate.

For tetanus patients, no laboratory examination is required. However, when a patient has a suspected tetanus infection, a bacterial examination can be performed in the laboratory to assume the presence of bacteria.

Symptoms  of Illness Tetanus

The patient with tetanus will experience the following symptoms:

  • Stiff on certain body parts, such as the jaw and stomach too hard to sit
  • Seizures
  • The pulse is too fast
  • Difficult to swallow food or drink
  • Excessively fast breathing rate
  • Increased or decreased blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness


Treatment of Disease Tetanus

For the treatment of tetanus patients, the first-stage treatment procedure is:

  • Put the patient in a safe and comfortable position.
  • If the patient is not conscious or seizures, do not give a spoon or insert anything into the mouth.
  • Help the patient to breathe by tilting the patient’s body position. This is so that the tongue falls backward.
  • Immediately contact the nearest hospital or health office.

If the first stage of treatment is done, here is the follow-up phase to be performed by the hospital:

– Antibiotics

The types of antibiotics given are procaine penicillin, ampicillin, tetracycline, metronidazole, and erythromycin. If the patient is suffering from pneumonia, the patient may be given additional cephalosporin type drugs.

– Neutralization of toxins

Before giving antitetanus serum (ATS) in the patient, a serum test will be performed first on the patient’s skin. If the hospital has human tetanus immunoglobulin, it can also be given to the patient also.

– Anticonvulsants

Provision of drugs that can prevent or reduce seizures (convulsants) can also be made, such as diazepam. This drug also serves to overcome anxiety.

– Injury cure

Done after administration of antitoxin ATS and anticonvulsants.

– Supportive therapy

At this stage, the patient will be released the airway then given oxygen. Provision of fluids and nutrients and monitoring will also be made.

Cause of Disease Tetanus

Tetanus arises from the attack of Clostridium tetani bacteria. These bacteria usually live in soil, dust, and animal waste.

Bacteria can enter the body through the wound and grow faster in areas that lack oxygen. So, the deeper and narrower the wound will be, the less oxygen around it, and the greater the possibility of tetanus.


Prevention of Disease Tetanus

To prevent tetanus, you should apply the following:

– Immunize regularly

Includes the basic immunization of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DPT) given three times since the age of 2 months. Immunization is done at a distance of 4-6 weeks, which then re-done at the age of 18 months and 5 years.

– Handling the wound immediately

If injured, immediately clean and give antitetanus fluids to avoid infection. Especially on the internal wound, such as exposed to iron, fell in a dirty place, or bitten by a dog.

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