another tetanus ? : how long to "take effect"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-08-2007, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are non vaxers, but we have a bit of a situation here that has me just double checking some answers.

How long does it take for a tetanus shot to take effect, that is, provide protection? It's not immediately, right?

Here's what I'm trying to get at: If one gets a wound and a tetanus recommendation is made, it is like suggesting that the shot offers immediate protection, right? But I don't see how it can??

Here's why I'm revisiting this: my dd smashed her finger to the point it split open all the way to the bone and broke one of the fingers in her bone. IT happened outside when a large rock was dropped on her finger, smashing it agains a concrete slab. The doc at the ER kept, very nicely/respectfully, trying to get me to give her a tetanus shot (even after telling her we were religiously exempt) stressing that she had to receive it within 72 hourse of the injury.

Anyone care to help me out here? What are your thoughts? Links? She has to go back to a specialist on Mon or Tues (they will call us with day and time) to check tendon damage, etc. (this was a major crushing, not just a little broken finger).

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#2 of 8 Old 07-08-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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The tetanus shot does not have an immediate effect. The correct treatment for tetanus-prone injury to an unvaccinated person is tetanus immune globulin, TIG, which will say TIG on the vial, not TT (tetanus toxoid).

Physicians are accustomed to administering TT (either as the TT product, or formulated with other toxoids as DT, Td, Tdap, or DTaP) after wounds because it quickly boosts the antibody response if, and only if, the individual has already received a primary course of 3 shots containing tetanus toxoid, 2 months apart.

The other possible reason that TT may be encouraged for an unvaccinated individual after a wound is this: the physician recognizes a "window of opportunity," during which a person who would otherwise never allow the vaccine can be persuaded to permit it.
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#3 of 8 Old 07-08-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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Physicians are accustomed to administering TT (either as the TT product, or formulated with other toxoids as DT, Td, Tdap, or DTaP) after wounds because it quickly boosts the antibody response if, and only if, the individual has already received a primary course of 3 shots containing tetanus toxoid, 2 months apart.

The other possible reason that TT may be encouraged for an unvaccinated individual after a wound is this: the physician recognizes a "window of opportunity," during which a person who would otherwise never allow the vaccine can be persuaded to permit it.
Yep. Many physicians aren't even aware that someone needs the primary series beforehand for TT to give a quick boost. And the ones who do are looking at like "While we've gotcha', we might as well..."
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#4 of 8 Old 07-08-2007, 09:30 PM
 
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Doesn't sound like an injury where tetnus was likey to be to me though. Were these rocks on a horse farm or something?
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#5 of 8 Old 07-08-2007, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input so far. I don't think I'm wavering about the shot, but DH said he was ambivalent, so I'm doing a little re-checking.

Any other thoughts input welcome!

"We think we're gliding down the highway when in fact we're slip sliding away." Paul Simon
DD-7 & B-G twins, 5
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#6 of 8 Old 07-08-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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It's too late to get a "tetanus shot" (as in, the vax)...but if you're worried, the tetanus immune globulin is what you should be considering.
The main risk with that is blood born pathogens. It's a kinda small risk, but real.
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#7 of 8 Old 07-09-2007, 09:11 PM
 
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How is your dd healing?
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#8 of 8 Old 07-10-2007, 12:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mary-Beth View Post
How is your dd healing?
Thank you for asking! She went to the regular family doc today to have her dressings changed, and she was very reserved about it?? She has an appointment tomorrow at 11:00 with an ortho ped, so hopefully we'll have a better ideal of what we're looking at then.

Thanks for all the wonderful info on this thread! I LOVE having all of you as a resource and support network!

"We think we're gliding down the highway when in fact we're slip sliding away." Paul Simon
DD-7 & B-G twins, 5
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