Tetanus Symptoms and Causes Q&A
Tetanus can be life-threatening, so if you or someone you love has had an accident, that might result in tetanus, rush to Columbia Clinic Urgent Care. For more information call us or visit us online to book an appointment. We have Convenient Locations To Serve You at 82nd Ave, Mall 205, Division St, Tigard and Clackamas. Hours Vary By Location.
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The expert team at Columbia Clinic Urgent Care and Walk-in is prepared to deal with all minor medical emergencies. At our clinic, you are our number one priority. We believe in offering affordable, efficient, and compassionate healthcare. Our medical staff has the experience and education to provide treatment for non-life-threatening acute injuries, chronic conditions, illnesses, and infections. One service we provide is the prevention and treatment of tetanus. Here is everything you may want to know about tetanus symptoms, causes, and treatment.
Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection caused by a bacteria called Clostridium tetani. This bacteria can attack the body and cause severe muscle contractions. If you have tetanus, you may experience the following symptoms:
● Jaw cramping
● Muscle spasms
● Muscle stiffness
● Muscle pain
● Changes in blood pressure
● Changes in heart rate
● Abdominal pain
● Back pain
● Difficulty swallowing
In severe, untreated tetanus cases, serious health conditions can develop including:
● Tightening of the vocal cords
● Broken bones
● Aspiration pneumonia
● Breathing difficulty
● Pulmonary embolism
To prevent serious tetanus complications, make sure you seek urgent care right away. Tetanus is considered a medical emergency and can be treated with a special medicine called human tetanus immune globulin. Additionally, you can be treated with certain antibiotics, tetanus shots, aggressive wound care, and drugs to help stop muscle spasms.
Tetanus is caused by bacteria found primarily in manures and soils. It can also be found in dust, human intestines, saliva, and animal feces. It is contracted when spores of Clostridium tetani enter the body through open wounds and broken skin.
Tetanus is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person. Instead, it is contracted through exposure to a certain bacterium. A person can contract tetanus through any of the following:
● Wounds contaminated with feces, manure, or saliva
● Superficial wounds
● Insect bites
● IV drug use
● Puncture wounds
● Crush injuries
● Intramuscular injections
● Sores, blisters, and infections
● Compound fractures
● Dental infections
● Surgical procedures
● Injuries with dead tissue
Vaccinations are the most effective way of preventing tetanus infections. There are three different types of tetanus immunizations: DTaP, Tdap, and Td vaccines. Preventative tetanus healthcare can potentially save your life. You may need to get a tetanus shot if any of the following applies:
● You have an open wound caused by a rusty nail, needle, or other unclean object and haven’t had a tetanus shot anytime within the past five years
● You have an open wound caused by something sharp, but clean and haven’t had a tetanus shot anytime within the past ten years
● You have an open wound contaminated by dust, feces, soil, or manure
● You didn’t get tetanus immunizations as a child
● You are currently unaware of the last time you had a tetanus shot (your primary care physician should have this information)
● You have a wound that puts you at risk of developing tetanus?
Tetanus shots are incredibly safe and important in preventing tetanus from developing. Talk to your doctor if you think you need a tetanus shot. Getting a tetanus shot will be minimally painful and only take a few short minutes. To reduce any swelling, tenderness, or redness of the injection site, place a cold compress or ice pack on it for two minutes after getting vaccinated.
If you, a family member, or a loved one is displaying symptoms of tetanus, seek urgent care right away. Columbia Clinic Urgent Care and Walk-in can help with wound care and assess your risk of developing tetanus. For additional information on tetanus symptoms, causes, and treatment, schedule an appointment with our clinic. We would be more than happy to answer any questions about this diagnosis and treat your tetanus infection as soon as possible. We serve patients from Portland OR, PDX, Happy Valley OR, Tigard OR, Milwaukie OR, Cedar Hills OR, Cedar Mill OR, Lake Oswego OR, Oak Grove OR, Vancouver WA, Aloha OR, Minnehaha WA, Gladstone OR, Tualatin OR, West Linn OR, Fairview OR, Oregon City OR.