Rust actually has nothing to do with tetanus. It's just a sign that something has been exposed to the elements for awhile, and may have had more time and opportunity to be contaminated with tetanus spores.
A wound that bleeds heavily is going to saturate the area with oxygen. Tetanus spores cannot survive in an oxygen rich environment.
On the other hand, a nail which may have gotten sheep poop on it at one point, (rusty or not), and goes deep in the foot, creating a deep puncture wound that does not bleed, could be a tetanus risk. If that happened to myself or my kids, I'd squeeze the wound trying to get it to bleed, and I'd go crazy with the hydrogen peroxide on the area. I might consider the TIG (tetanus immune globulin). But I would not vaccinate for tetanus, because vaccination after a wound is useless. The vaccine takes too long to be effective. If an emergency room doctor suggests the tetanus vaccine instead of the TIG, you can be assured they are not worried, and are just using this as an excuse to get you current on vaccines.
I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything, so I did a Google search and found this. http://beyondvaccination.com/showthread.php?2145-Tetanus-and-wound-cleaning.
Edited by ma2two - 3/22/11 at 3:11am