Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

Why You Should Not Wait To Get Your Next Tetanus Shot

Most people know that if they step on a rusty nail, they should go to a medical clinic to get a tetanus shot, but do you understand why this is? And, do you know that stepping on a rusty nail is not the only incident that requires this. If you get injured and have not had a tetanus shot recently, you may want to go to a clinic to get one.

What Is a Tetanus Shot?

A tetanus shot is a very popular vaccination. All vaccinations are designed to prevent illnesses and diseases, but some vaccinations require more than one dose. Tetanus shots are included in this. In fact, children receive several doses of this vaccination, and they are required for adults every 10 years.

This particular vaccination protects against a life-threatening type of bacteria called tetanus. If you are infected with this bacteria, it will cause muscle spasms and can lead to death.

How Can You Contract the Tetanus Bacteria?

Tetanus bacteria is found in many places, including in soil and dust. This bacteria enters into a person's body through some type of wound. If you get a tetanus shot, the bacteria will not be able to harm your body. The tetanus vaccination produces antibodies that destroy the tetanus bacteria, and you cannot contract this illness if you are protected with the vaccination.

If you have not had this important vaccination within the last 10 years, it might be wise for you to go to your doctor to get one. You should make this a priority if you get some type of wound, and this includes wounds from:

  • Stepping on a nail
  • Cutting yourself with broken glass
  • Injuring yourself with old metal
  • Getting bit by an animal

Is There Treatment Options For Tetanus?

According to Mayo Clinic, there is currently no cure for tetanus and that is another reason it is important for you to keep your vaccinations current. Doctors can however treat the symptoms of tetanus with the following options:

  • Antibiotics – taking antibiotics might help fight the symptoms of the bacteria, but this method will not completely destroy the tetanus bacteria.
  • Sedatives – because tetanus causes major muscle spasms, you may have to take sedatives or muscle relaxants to treat this symptom.
  • Antitoxin medications – these are issued to neutralize the toxins from the bacteria.

Keep in mind that the average incubation period of the tetanus bacteria is around 14 days. In other words, if you get a wound and are not fully protected against tetanus, you should seek help from a medical clinic within 14 days to avoid contacting this horrible illness. (For more information on medical clinics and Tetanus, contact a clinic such as Summit View Clinic)