What Is the Diagnosis and Treatment of Tetanus?

What is the diagnosis and treatment of tetanus?

Your doctor may make a diagnosis of tetanus based on:

  • A physical exam
  • Medical and immunization history
  • The signs and symptoms of muscle spasms, stiffness and pain

Laboratory tests generally aren’t helpful for diagnosing tetanus.

Treatments of tetanus include:

  • Wound care. Cleaning the wound is essential to preventing growth of tetanus spores. This involves removing dirt, foreign objects and dead tissue from the wound.
  • Medications like antitoxin, antibiotics, vaccine, sedatives and others to ease symptoms.
  • Supportive therapies. Severe tetanus infection often requires a long stay in an intensive care setting.
  • Since sedatives can inhibit breathing, you might temporarily need a ventilator.

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