What to expect at emerg. for partially vaxed dd who stepped on a nail and now has symptoms of tetanus? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-04-2011, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sunday night my dd (8 yrs) stepped on a nail, and it was in about half an inch. The wound bled afterwards, plus the nail had been on the floor in her room, so not an anaerobic environment. She had three rounds of DTaP as an infant before we stopped vaccinating. However, yesterday she started experiencing symptoms that match up with those of tetanus: a headache, sore throat, sore tummy, mild fever and possibly a sore neck. It *could* be tetanus, or maybe it's just a virus or other infection. Her sister had a fever last weekend, and I'm just getting over something. 

But because tetanus has such a high fatality rate, we feel we need to get her checked. Our family doc isn't in, so we're thinking emerg. What kinds of treatments are they going to offer, and are they necessary? Should I decline a tetanus shot? I'm not feeling very confident in my decision not to vaccinate right now. 

Thanks!

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#2 of 3 Old 02-04-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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They should offer you both TIG and the vaccine because of the symptom issue and length of time since last vaccination I would think. I am not sure how effective either of these are or even the combination once symptoms are present, but there is a paper that examines 15 T cases in children and found that those who received both the TIG and the vaccines had the shortest hospital stays and best outcomes, followed by those with TIG only and those with no treatment suffered most.

 

Sounds like it could be related to the illness going around the family though but I would probably feel the same about going in if neck stiffness is present.


"Parents are simply trustees; they do not own the bodies of their children"-Norm Cohen  Martial arts instructor intactlact.gifhomebirth.jpgnak.gif and mom to 4: DD1 (1/05) DS (7/06) DD2 (5/08) DD3 (2/11)
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#3 of 3 Old 02-04-2011, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!

It turns out to be strep throat, which I might have figured out if I had managed to look inside my daughter's throat earlier, but I did as we were leaving, and saw that her tonsils were huge, and I was pretty sure that wasn't a part of tetanus. 

But this whole thing has me rethinking my non-vaxing stance, at least on tetanus. It's not something mild, like chicken pox. It's got a high fatality rate. It was an interesting visit, because when I told them the story about the nail and the onset of symptoms, they're like "... and she's up to date with her immunizations" and I explained she had three rounds of DTaP. They suggested she get a booster, until they saw that she had the infection, with fever, so we were off the hook. 

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