Tetanus -- need help! - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 44 Old 02-28-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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I am a partially-vaxing mother, so maybe not exactly the input you are looking for. I can totally understand why you are alarmed, though I think the risk is small. I imagine that part of the stress is just that you have no control over the situation and feel powerless to make the best decision for your dss.

Is there a doctor that the local family trusts who could be consulted? I agree that if the child sees a doc whoever takes him should be primed to refuse the tetanus *vax*, and find out what the doc thinks about the TIG. I think in your situation I would *consider* the TIG but would want to know about how the wound was cleaned, how much it bled and how deep it is.

Are there other trust or territory issues between you and your dp and dss's mother? It sounds like the conversation was either confrontational or at best not very informative. Could you tell her as non-judgmentally as possible that you are concerned and it's hard to be so far away and not have full info about the situation, and see how much you can find out? It sounds like family relationships are making this situation more tense than it would be otherwise. I would go as gently as you can with her but try to get either the info you need to feel less panicked or a quick check from a doc.
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#32 of 44 Old 02-28-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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I would just like to say that I have read all of these posts and have really gotten some great information. I too am afraid of tetanus, and have never allowed dd to play around farm animals, or even a petting zoo. Now that I know that oxygen is the key and the risk is small, I feel a lot better. I think it would be wise to take advice from these moms; I believe they know what they are talking about. I mean, one of them is even married to an ER doc! I think there is some pretty reliable advice here.
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#33 of 44 Old 02-28-2007, 02:07 PM
 
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The other thing is that tetanus is EVERYWHERE. Really. In the dust in your house. Farm animals really don't increase the chance of infection. It's just everywhere.

-Angela
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#34 of 44 Old 02-28-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
The other thing is that tetanus is EVERYWHERE. Really. In the dust in your house. Farm animals really don't increase the chance of infection. It's just everywhere.

-Angela
This is not correct. As other post have alluded to, the bacterium that causes tetanus is often found in the GI tract of horses and often can be found in horse manure. This makes wounds that occur in stables more worrisome with regard to tetanus.

..

From the Australian Gov't's Department of Health and Aging: Tetanus

C. tetani (a bacillus) is a normal and harmless inhabitant of many animals (eg. horses) and humans and is a common environmental organism found in soil. Infection with the bacillus may occur after minor incidents (sometimes unnoticed punctures to the skin) or after major injury: compound fractures; wounds containing foreign bodies, especially wood splinters; wounds complicated by pyogenic infections; wounds with extensive tissue damage, e.g. contusions or burns; any superficial wound obviously contaminated with soil, dust or horse manure, especially if topical disinfection is delayed more than 4 hours....

...

From Clinical practice guidelines from the Royal Children's Hospital: Management of tetanus-prone wounds

...The recommendations for the management of tetanus-prone wounds remain the same: Types of wounds likely to favour the growth of tetanus organisms include: ....any wound obviously contaminated with soil, dust or horse manure (especially if topical disinfection is delayed more than 4 hours)....
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#35 of 44 Old 02-28-2007, 03:30 PM
 
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...The recommendations for the management of tetanus-prone wounds remain the same: Types of wounds likely to favour the growth of tetanus organisms include: ....any wound obviously contaminated with soil, dust or horse manure (especially if topical disinfection is delayed more than 4 hours)....
Notice that soil and dust are listed equally with horse manure.

-Angela
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#36 of 44 Old 02-28-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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It's a matter of increased risk from horse manure as manure from horses with tetanus in their GI tract can have very high concentrations of the bacilli that cause tetanus - thousands of times more than what would be found in most suburban soil samples and millions time more than what normally would be found in household dust.
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#37 of 44 Old 02-28-2007, 04:09 PM
 
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I realize the theoretical situation. However statistics don't hold out from what I've seen (and your quotes do nothing to convince me being that they quote a splinter and dust and soil equally to the manure)

-Angela
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#38 of 44 Old 02-28-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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I am a non-vaccing grandmother and in the situation you described I would not vaccinated. But I am asking again, did the wound have any blood at the surface?
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#39 of 44 Old 03-01-2007, 12:17 AM
 
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We are selectivly vaxing we do to the tetnus vax but we also live on a farm and are exposed more so to the bacteria then the average person. That being said - if my child was unvaxed and got a nail in the bum I certainly wouldn't go running for a vax - it wont do any good as others have said. And that kind of wound I would think a doctor would laught at the though of givein TIG
Here is my story involving TIG
As far as getting a shot of TIG it has to be a severe wound with lots of contamintation before they consider it. I had a dose of TIG 3 years ago and they(the ER docs) really debated weather I needed it or not - and I had a NASTY wound - 1.5 inch long punture gash on my lower arm from a barbwire fence(covered in animal rubbings) with which I then fell forward and sunk into cow muck up to my elbows. At the ER the cleaned and stiched it (6 stiches) then decided that I should have the TIG - but they did consider not giving to to me, they said even with that kind of filthy wound - the chances where slim. But they did give it just because they wanted to be safe. (BTW I have never had a tetnus shot and after nearly 30 years living on a farm and stepping and falling on numerouse icky rusty things have never had tetnus)
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#40 of 44 Old 03-01-2007, 03:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Even superficial cleaning with soap and water is great. Really. Rust is not harmful (and contrary to popular opinion has nothing to do with tetanus)

The body is really pretty good at cleaning things like that out with just a little bit of help.

-Angela
And something like epson salts to draw out infection is a good thing to do.
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#41 of 44 Old 03-01-2007, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyway -- here's the update.

DSS's mother ended up taking him into the doctor -- the skin surrounding the wound had become red, warm to the touch and swollen. The wound was cleaned, and they provided an antibotic cream to apply. She refused TIG, but the dr. provided information on symptoms to look for during the incubation period (headaches, muscle spasm, etc., etc.)

We are basically keeping our fingers crossed, and hoping that she is keeping a close eye on DSS (as early treatment is important).
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#42 of 44 Old 03-01-2007, 10:26 PM
 
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I'm not sure how long he'll be with his mom but if you are concerned about tetanus you'll need to watch it when he gets back with you too

Quote:
The time between an injury and the occurrence of the first symptoms is typically less than two weeks but may range from 5 days to 15 weeks.
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#43 of 44 Old 03-01-2007, 11:30 PM
 
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I'm glad to hear he got checked out, and I hope knowing that his mother took care of that and has some advice on what to watch for helps you feel a little less worried.
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#44 of 44 Old 03-02-2007, 02:20 AM
 
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I hope your DSS is doing well.

We don't vax. If my DD was injured in the way you described I would 1) check for the wound to bleed (and maybe help it along a little) 2) wash it 3) hydrogen peroxcide it. Then I would watch and wait - but not worry about tetanus at all as long as I felt good about steps 1-3.

I would watch for signs of general infection and go from there.

When will your DSS return from his trip?

Most people who have issues with it in this country are women over the age of 50 - worsening circulation as they age - so I worry more about my mom, the gardener!

Best to your family.
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