Tetanus is a sometimes fatal disease of the central nervous system caused by a bacteria Clostridium tetani (c. tetani) which is primarily found in soil or manure. C. tetani is an anaerobic bacteria, meaning it cannot survive in an oxygenated environment.
Tetanus can be contracted through wounds contaminated with soil that contains c. tetani, however the environment needs to be deprived of oxygen in order for the c. tetani to multiply and cause illness. If you sustain a wound that is bleeding there is less of a chance of infection as blood carries oxygen and again, c. tetani cannot survive in an oxygenated environment. Deep puncture wounds that don’t bleed are more concerning than a wound that isn’t as deep or is bleeding/exposed to oxygen.
Tetanus isn’t offered as a single 💉rather combined with Diphtheria (the D in DTaP) and Pertussis (the P in DTaP). Receiving the TDaP following exposure will not help prevent Tetanus infection as it takes two weeks for seroconversion (measurable antibodies in blood aka immunity) against the pathogen to develop. If you’ve been told to get a tetanus 💉 following an injury to prevent tetanus that is not accurate. Some of the ingredients in DTaP include formaldehyde, aluminum, polysorbate-80, neomycin (antibiotic), bovine serum, phenoxyethanol, sodium chloride, yeast protein, etc.
If a deep non-bleeding wound in a farm-like environment were to occur (aka proper environment for Tetanus) I would ask for the TiG (tetanus immunoglobulin) injection. Tetanus immunoglobulin is an anti-toxin, as opposed to a 💉.
Steps to take:
1. Assess wound. Is it bleeding? How deep is it?
2. Clean wound with soap and water and/or hydrogen peroxide.
3. Apply topical ointment such as manuka honey or doterra correctX.
4. Consult with HcP when necessary and receive TiG when appropriate under their guidance.
*all of this information is meant for someone living in a developed country with access to clean water, proper hygiene and good medical care. Not to be taken as medical advice; always consult with a trusted HCP.