Tetanus Case Study

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Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is an acute and potentially life-threatening infection caused by toxins released from the bacteria Clostridium tetani. It is commonly found in soil, fecal matter and dust in areas that tend to by hot and humid. The bacteria enter the body through open wounds or cuts, causing bacterial infection in those that have not been vaccinated or have not received the proper vaccination. Tdap should be administered in three doses during normal childhood vaccinations and it is strongly recommended to have the TD booster every 10 years. Although the number of cases has decreased with the introduction of the tetanus vaccination, between 1991-1997 325 cases (46.4 per year) were reported. (Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 2001) The tetanus infection attacks the nervous system, causing spasms and weakness of the muscles, especially of the jaw and neck, which can lead to respiratory distress. Symptoms typically occur within 1-2 weeks after exposure and include muscle spasms, stiffness of the neck, inability, or difficulty opening the mouth, difficulty-swallowing, headache, fever, and increased perspiration. Proper diagnosis and treatment is …show more content…
Clostridium tetani can be found all over the world, in all age groups and populations. It is found primarily in the soil, dust, and manure in densely populated areas that are hot and humid and effects older adults due to inadequate vaccination . In this case, the patient is a 78-year-old rancher in Greeley, Colorado where it tends to be wet, humid and hot most of the summer and wet and cold in the winter. Bill has no prior health issues but has indicated his vaccinations may not be up to date. Bill has an open wound that has come into contact with dirt and fecal matter found in the

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