How does tetanus cause death?

Death from tetanus is often caused by a blocked airway during spasms or damage to the nerves that regulate breathing, heart rate or other organ functions.

What causes the primary symptoms of neonatal tetanus?

It usually gets transmitted from an unvaccinated mother and enters the body through infection of unhealed umbilical stump. This typically happens when the umbilical cord is cut using unsterile instruments. It is one of the leading causes of new born deaths in the developing world.

What are the complications of neonatal tetanus?


  • Uncontrolled/involuntary tightening of the vocal cords (laryngospasm)
  • Broken bones (fractures)
  • Infections gotten by a patient during a hospital visit (hospital-acquired infections)

What symptoms are observed in tetanus?

Tetanus symptoms include:

  • Jaw cramping.
  • Sudden, involuntary muscle tightening (muscle spasms) – often in the stomach.
  • Painful muscle stiffness all over the body.
  • Trouble swallowing.
  • Jerking or staring (seizures)
  • Headache.
  • Fever and sweating.
  • Changes in blood pressure and fast heart rate.

How does tetanus affect the body?

Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is a serious infection caused by Clostridium tetani. This bacterium produces a toxin that affects the brain and nervous system, leading to stiffness in the muscles. If Clostridium tetani spores are deposited in a wound, the neurotoxin interferes with nerves that control muscle movement.

Is tetanus always fatal?

Tetanus infection can be life-threatening without treatment. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of tetanus infections are fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) .

What are the types of neonatal tetanus?

‘ Tetanus is characterized by a classic triad that comprises of muscle spasms, rigidity, and autonomic disturbance. The disease is usually classified as one of following clinical types: localized, cephalic, generalized, or neonatal (Weinstein, 1973). Localized tetanus is an uncommon form of the disease.

How is neonatal tetanus contracted?

In neonatal tetanus, infection occurs via the umbilical cord, which can become contaminated during cutting with unsterile instruments at birth or because of substances being applied to the cord (eg, animal faeces), meaning that the incubation period is equal to the age at which symptoms develop.

What are the nursing management of neonatal tetanus?

PIP: The conservative management of neonatal tetanus usually involves use of intravenous Iv sedative drugs and is hazardous unless monitored with a high level of nursing observation. This is often not available in hospitals where this condition is most commonly seen and many iatrogenic deaths occur.

How long does tetanus take to show symptoms?

The incubation period — time from exposure to illness — is usually between 3 and 21 days (average 10 days). However, it may range from one day to several months, depending on the kind of wound. Most cases occur within 14 days.

How is tetanus diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose tetanus based on a physical exam, medical and vaccination history, and the signs and symptoms of muscle spasms, muscle rigidity and pain. A laboratory test would likely be used only if your doctor suspects another condition causing the signs and symptoms.

Who is at high risk for tetanus?

The risk of death from tetanus is highest among people 65 years old or older. Diabetes, a history of immunosuppression, and intravenous drug use may be risk factors for tetanus.

How does neonatal tetanus cause severe tetanus?

The toxin interferes with the transmission of the inhibitory neurotransmitters known as Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA) and glycine. This leads to unopposed motor contractions and spasm. In the absence of an enabling environment for it to travel; infection will not be established. Every case of neonatal tetanus is severe tetanus.

How many babies die from tetanus each year?

In 2008, 59,000 newborns worldwide died as a result of neonatal tetanus. In 2005, 57 countries were identified as still at risk, with 27 countries accounting for 90% of cases. As of December 2013 the number of countries at risk was reduced to 25.

What is the prognosis of neonatal and maternal tetanus?

Maternal and neonatal tetanus is still a substantial but preventable cause of mortality in many developing countries. Case fatality from these diseases remains high and treatment is limited by scarcity of resources and effective drug treatments.

What is the incidence of neonatal tetanus in Nigeria?

Most of the cases of neonatal tetanus are from Sub-Sahara Africa, with about 500-1000 cases per year. In University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Nigeria, there have been a dropped incidence from about 3-4 to 1-2 cases per year. Tetanus is caused by spread of toxins of toxins of Clostridium tetani.