Book Appointment Online with select physicians.
Request Appointment Online to schedule with one of our coordinators.
1.888.IUHEALTH for
Same-Day Primary Care Appointments.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 9-1-1.

A Guide to Tetanus: What You Need to Know About This Serious Bacterial Infection

Tetanus is a bacterial infection that causes tightening of the muscles in the body. Frequently, this causes what is known as lockjaw in which the muscles of the jaw tighten, which can prevent a person from opening their mouth, and swallowing. Tetanus is usually preventable by using common vaccines.

People normally come into contact with tetanus through contact with foreign objects- specifically, when these objects come into contact with broken skin. One of the most common ways people get tetanus is from stepping on or coming in contact with rusty metal objects (like fences or nails.) Other common causes of tetanus are burns, and wounds that have been contaminated with dirt.

As stated previously, the symptoms of tetanus include painful tightening of muscles, but may also include headaches, fever, and seizures. If you suspect that you or someone you know has become infected with tetanus, you need to get the person affected to an emergency room as soon as possible. Tetanus is very serious- 1 in 10 people who contract it will die from the disease according to the CDC.

Treatment for Tetanus includes hospitalization, treatment with anti-toxins, as well as antibiotics, and drugs to control muscle spasms.

There are four combinations of vaccines used to prevent tetanus. DTap, Tdap, DT and Td. According to Vaccines.gov DTap and DT are given to children under that age of seven. Tdap and Td are given to older children, teens and adults.

Everyone needs to be protected from tetanus. If you have not had a booster shot in 10 years of more, you should contact your primary care doctor. Talk to your doctor about the tetanus vaccination and make sure you are up to date on yours to prevent hospitalization.

Viewing all posts in …

Other Blog Posts That May Interest You


Surgeon Treats Children Whose Limbs Are Uneven


Soon after eight-year-old Samuel Morris was born with a condition called fibular hemimelia, his...

Continue reading
Blog Keeping Your Child’s Developing Spine Healthy

Keeping Your Child’s Developing Spine Healthy


As a parent, it seems like every time you turn around your children have shot up another inch or...

Continue reading
Blog Riley at IU Health Nationally Ranked in 10 out of 10 Pediatric Specialties

Riley at IU Health Nationally Ranked in 10 out of 10 Pediatric Specialties


Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health has once again been distinguished as...

Continue reading

Viewing all posts in …