So, what do I do about that rusty nail? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-05-2010, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A facebook friend just posted that she was thankful for vaccinations being common these days. I asked her why and she said the three year old she was watching just stepped on a rusty nail but he was up to date on all his vaccines.

I was just wondering what to do in that sort of situation. I've heard that you should squeeze some blood out to rinse out any foreign particles, maybe wash out the wound with antiseptic. Is that enough? Or would I need to do something else to prevent tetanus?
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Old 04-06-2010, 09:04 AM
 
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I would hold the wound under water for at least 10 minutes whilst squeezing. (I did this when bit by a field mouse I rescued from my cats - at the time it was just what came to me as the natural and healthy thing to do!)
Nothing more. Its pretty hard to actually get tetanus! ...you would seriously have to be trying!

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Old 04-08-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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I would hold the wound under water for at least 10 minutes whilst squeezing. (I did this when bit by a field mouse I rescued from my cats - at the time it was just what came to me as the natural and healthy thing to do!)
Nothing more. Its pretty hard to actually get tetanus! ...you would seriously have to be trying!
This and it's recommended to rinse with hydrogen peroxide (because oxygen kills the toxoid)

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Old 04-08-2010, 08:47 PM
 
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When my oldest was four, she stepped on a rusty nail. Here's what I did:

Our homeopath recommended ledum as the remedy for tetanus, so I gave her that.

I cleaned the wound and soaked her foot repeatedly in hot water and epsom salts to draw out any impurities; I did this for several days, three or four times a day. When not soaking, I kept a wet bandage soaked in antiseptic on the wound. My goal was the keep the wound moist so that it would not close up. I wanted the wound to heal from the inside first, closing up on the outside last. Tetanus is an anaerobic bacteria so it can not exist in the presence of air (hence the reason why it is transmitted by puncture wounds that close up immediately). I didn't want to create a pocket inside the wound where the bacteria could proliferate. These days, I would use tea tree oil rather than antiseptic as essential oils are very good at penetrating the skin.

I don't like any vaccines, but tetanus seems to be the most benign. If the wound was really questionable (say, if it happened on a horse farm, as tetanus is often found in the presence of horse manure), I might go ahead and get the vaccine. But from what I understand, it would have to be the tetanus IG at that point, not the regular vaccine, if the person had never been vaccinated for tetanus.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the help! I feel better prepared now.
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Old 04-09-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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But from what I understand, it would have to be the tetanus IG at that point, not the regular vaccine, if the person had never been vaccinated for tetanus.
Precisely this. A number of doctors will try to freak you out over needing the VAX after exposure...but it takes time to build antibodies.

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Old 04-10-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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I don't like any vaccines, but tetanus seems to be the most benign. If the wound was really questionable (say, if it happened on a horse farm, as tetanus is often found in the presence of horse manure), I might go ahead and get the vaccine. But from what I understand, it would have to be the tetanus IG at that point, not the regular vaccine, if the person had never been vaccinated for tetanus.
I would not say the tetanus vax is benign. I have read MANY anecdotal reports of children and adults having painful hard lumps, and/or pain in limbs or overall body ache post vaccination.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 04-11-2010, 03:34 PM
 
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I would not say the tetanus vax is benign. I have read MANY anecdotal reports of children and adults having painful hard lumps, and/or pain in limbs or overall body ache post vaccination.
Before I knew about the hazards of vaccines, I had a tetanus booster about 4 years ago. My arm was in severe pain. I couldn't lift it for 3 days, and it was quite painful for almost a week. At the time, I just wrote it off as a "normal" reaction to a vaccine, but I know that something nasty was probably going on in my body.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:20 AM
 
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I did A LOT of research on tetanus. Rust has nothing to do with it. Tetanus bacteria are found in the soil and in feces. They are anaerobic, so they cannot live in the presence of air. If a nail is rusty, it's in the open air. There is no tetanus on that nail.

The only way to get tetanus is to have a DEEP puncture wound from something that is buried in soil or feces at the time of the puncture. Then, you'd have to not clean the wound.

Others here are right - make sure the wound bleeds, use lots of water and antiseptic.

Even in it's heyday, tetanus affected a very small percentage of people, and most of them were senior citizens (poor blood circulation). The vaccine itself has never been tested for efficacy. Basically, cases of tetanus went down, and people had a certain level of tetanus toxoid in their blood, so, of course the vax is hunky-dory. Of course, tetanus has always been a rural disease, and America is no longer a rural nation, so tetanus was going to go down anyway.

I hope this helps!


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and Cassandra, b. October 2011

 

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Old 04-13-2010, 07:38 PM
 
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Tetanus is caused by a bacteria, not by rust.
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Old 04-15-2010, 11:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lolainthecola View Post
I don't like any vaccines, but tetanus seems to be the most benign.
One issue, which we encountered 4 years ago when my eldest got a bad cut while playing outside, is that it is hard to get non-combo shots.

The only one they had at the emergency room, where dc got 13 stitiches, was combined with something else. I was about 6 weeks pg with my 3rd child at the time and have a seriously prego-fuzzy-brain memory of what exactly. It might have been diptheria.

They told me that the combo shot was all they had on hand for getting him the tetanus booster. (DC had had all shots per recommendations up to 18 months and nothing after -- he was, um, 6 when this happened.)

Fast forward to last year when middle child actually stepped on a nail. I took him to an urgent care place where the doc examined the wound and said that she'd be very surprised if anything developed because it wasn't deep and was very clean. She did swab the wound with peroxide and gave me a script for ABX should he seem to develop an infection. She also wanted him to have a tetanus shot but I declined that.

He was fine. The wound never developed any infection. And we certainly didn't fill the ABX order.

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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Tetanus seems to be the last vaccine that many former vaccinating persons give up on.
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I also read that dousing a wound with hydrogen peroxide can kill tetanus by drenching it in oxygen (since it's H2O2). I always keep a bottle on hand just in case (mine only cost $.89). Honestly tetanus doesn't really scare me as other vaccine "preventable" illnesses. There's so much you can do to prevent it if you suspect your child might have come in contact with it.

Stay-at-home Mama to my fabulous DD (10/08)  and DS (9/12) and wife to my just-as-fabulous DH

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the education on tetanus! I knew it was connected to animal feces and things, but I didn't realize it was anaerobic. That's good to know. Hopefully I can educate others now.
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rredhead View Post
I did A LOT of research on tetanus. Rust has nothing to do with it. Tetanus bacteria are found in the soil and in feces. They are anaerobic, so they cannot live in the presence of air. If a nail is rusty, it's in the open air. There is no tetanus on that nail.

The only way to get tetanus is to have a DEEP puncture wound from something that is buried in soil or feces at the time of the puncture. Then, you'd have to not clean the wound.
This isn't how I understand it. I am rereading Romm's book and she says, "tetanus spores have been found in samples of street dust and in hospital operating rooms." So, if I understand correctly, tetanus spores can be on the nail and she mentions rusty nails. However tetanus infection is caused in an anaerobic condition such as a puncture wound and then the bacteria clostridum tetani produces the toxin. "Anaerobic conditions allow the spores to grow and the organism to reproduce." Which is why we would want the puncture wound to bleed and heal from the inside out.

So if I am understanding correctly, from my readings, tetanus can be on nails or other items which are exposed to the air but that the toxin cannot be produced except in anaerobic conditions.
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