Child Cut by rusty metal pipe/rod...please help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 10-03-2014, 08:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Child Cut by rusty metal pipe/rod...please help

I need some opinions from trustworthy people. Jenna dropped a rusty metal rod/pipe on her toe while at the neighbors house and her toe now has a dirty cut on it. I can not get it fully clean. She does not have a tetanus vax.

Is this a scenario in which I would need to go ahead and give her a tetanus shot? Are there other ways to prevent tetanus in this situation? Things to do? Supplements to take? Essential oils?

This is cross posted....I hope that's okay? Just really need people to see this and respond to help us out. Pretty sure hubby was to vax her for tetanus now but if we can safely avoid that then I'd like to.
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#2 of 5 Old 10-04-2014, 12:15 AM
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There's no cure for tetanus only the vaccine. I know what I'd do in your situation - but then I also wouldn't be in that situation as my kids are already vaccinated (and they are both fine).

That said tetanus is rare, so she may not have been exposed.

Hope it's all ok whatever you decide to do.
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#3 of 5 Old 10-04-2014, 03:56 AM
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Tetanus lives in the soil. It is everywhere. It is also an obligate anaerobe, meaning it needs an environment free of oxygen to reproduce. This is why puncture wounds are more of a concern than laceration. There is no cure for tetanus once you contract it; all they can do is manage symptoms. The bacteria produce a toxin which cause the symptoms. Until your body clears the toxin, you are going to be very sick.

It's a really terrible disease. There are records during the civil war of soldiers who contracted tetanus having their backs broken by the tetany (muscle contractions) caused by the tetanus toxin. Anyhow, even today, it can interfere with your ability to breathe.

The tetanus toxoid vaccine introduces small amounts of broken down pieces of toxin so that the body can develop antibodies which will clean it up. It takes time for the body to develop these antibodies and in order for them to be most effective, you want to develop them before the bacterial and toxin load gets too high. So getting the shot gives your body a head start.

I would get the shot for your child. It is much better than getting tetanus.
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Last edited by cyclamen; 10-04-2014 at 03:59 AM.
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#4 of 5 Old 10-04-2014, 04:11 AM
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The tetanus vaccine won't prevent tetanus from this wound. It takes about 2 weeks to develop immunity once it is given.

Tetanus immunoglobulin can prevent tetanus though and it is what we give to prevent tetanus once exposure has occurred.

Whether this is a high risk injury though is hard to say. Rust is not an issue. Contaminated soil is the concern.

The other issue is that you say you can't get the cut clean. Do you mean it still has rust in it? If so then I would suggest that you take her somewhere where it can be cleaned properly under local or procedural sedation if necessary. As well as the risk of infection, if rust stays in the wound the skin will grow over it and you can get permanent tattooing.

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#5 of 5 Old 10-04-2014, 06:31 AM
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I am going to disagree with cyclamen on getting the tetanus vaccine.

If you are going to get anything, you should get TIG. (tetanus immunoglobulin)

If you go to the hospital and they do not offer TIG, it means they are not overly worried about it.

They might offer you or tell you she needs a tetanus vaccine, but that is really just taking advantage of opportunity, and perhaps your somewhat fearful state, to get her vaccinated. A tetanus vaccine will be of little use for this wound.

Have you tried soaking the foot to get it clean?

If you have a tiny bit of time before deciding I would read up on TIG and the tetanus incidence rate/risk factors in general.
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