Tetanus is also known as ‘lockjaw’ and it is a bacterial infection of the nervous system. When a patient experiences tetanus, their oral functions become impaired. This can result in difficulty opening their mouths or swallowing. During serious cases, seizures, muscles spasms, or death can be a possibility.
The bacteria can infect your body through an open wound or self-body piercing. Other conditions such as burns can also make you vulnerable to infection.
A tetanus shot is highly recommended if you’re an adult affected by the condition. Infants should also receive the DTaP vaccine to reduce the risk of medical problems such as diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. It is an immunization that is provided 5 times between the ages of 2 months and 6 years.
A booster shot can also be provided to a child around the age of 11 to supplement their DTaP vaccine. This booster short is known as ‘TDaP’. They are recommended every ten years. For adults that have never been vaccinated against tetanus, a three-shot Td series can be provided to protect against pertussis and tetanus.
Tetanus shots also work against an open wound. If you suspect that a bacterial infection can penetrate the wound, it is important to receive a shot as soon as possible. The vaccine takes 48 hours to travel to the wound; the bacteria will expand if you delay the treatment any further.
West Hills Urgent Care is dedicated to providing resources and treatments to help you maintain protection against tetanus. Tetanus and booster shots are available for walk-in patients at our clinic. Please visit us if you suspect or want to prevent an infection.