Sunday, May 1, 2016


Some of you may wonder why you have to get a Tetanus shot.  Why after cutting yourself on something rusty, you get one in the ER or doctor's office as they clean you up.  The reason you get a tetanus shot, is so that you don't get tetanus and trust me  - you don't want tetanus.

Tetanus comes from a bacteria that is found in the soil and can be poked into your skin after stepping on a rusty nail, or cutting yourself on an old piece of wire fence, or metal of some sort.  The bacteria gets inside your body and then a toxin gets released which, if not bound, will cause muscle contractions of your body.  These contractions happen if stimulated, if agitated, if it is loud or the light is on.  Any little thing can cause a tetanus contraction.

This little kiddo had tetanus.  We don't know how she got it, there is no history or signs of infection or puncture wounds, but she definitely has it.  Instead of laying in bed, moving with ease, she lays very still in bed, every movement causes her body to spasm, to tighten up.  Initially, her neck would arch back, with her arms and legs bent away from her in spasms.

This was my 3rd tetanus patient, and only one that survived.  We don't have the Tetanus Toxoid, which works to bind up the toxins and help the recovery, instead we have sedation, a dark room, and lots of prayers.  Thankfully for this little girl it worked.  I was around for about 1 week of her care, before going to Greece, and instead of her getting worse, as I had seen before, each day she seemed to get a little bit better.  The last day before I left, I went into her dark room, where her sister (10yo) was looking after her.  I said good morning, and the patient, in this little voice, without moving said "Moning Dokta," my heart was touched and I knew she was going to be okay.  Prior to that her mouth was so tight from the spasms that she could barely eat much less talk.

I am thankful she did well.  Unfortunately she left the hospital without us discharging her, so I am not sure if she will come back for followup or not, but I am thankful that she did well and got to go home.

Please go and get your tetanus shot.