Causes and symptoms of tetanus
Tetanus is a name used for aserious disease that affects the jaw muscle and other muscles. A toxin calledtetanospasmin causes this disease. Clostridium tetani is the tetanusbacteria, and they can be found generally everywhere, especially in the soil. Inthe case when a person is wounded, the tetanus bacteria can enter the wound andproduce a toxin. This toxin has the negative effects on the nerves that controlthe muscle.
Themost common symptoms of tetanus are spasm or stiffness of the jaw, neck, and othermuscles, as well as difficulty in breathing. Spasm and stiffness can alsoappear in the chest and abdomen muscles, as well as in the back muscles.Depending on the muscles affected, the swallowing can be very difficultsometimes or even breathing, if respiratory muscles are affected. Furthermore,fever and muscular irritability can also be some of the warning sings oftetanus.
Treatment of tetanus and possible complications
It is advisable to visit thedoctor if the person has a deep or dirty wound. All the cases of tetanus are veryserious and severe, because sometimes it can even cause deathdespite the treatment, and it occurs as the result of pneumonia, constrictionof airways and instability in the automatic nervous system. The doctorsusually prescribe some medications, such as antitoxin, antibiotics, andvaccine. Immunization is one of the best ways of prevention from tetanus.Maintaining a good personal hygiene and regular tetanus vaccination are one ofthe methods of the process of immunization. Untreated tetanus can lead tovery serious conditions such as fractures, aspiration pneumonia, laryngospasmand tetanic seizures, as well as pulmonary embolism and acute renalfailure. Fractures in the vertebrae usually occur as the result of frequentspasms and convulsions of the affected muscles.
The person who suffers fromtetanus has muscles that are rigid and stiff, making thus coughing andswallowing difficult for that person, which can result in the development ofaspiration pneumonia or, furthermore, an infection of lower respiratorytract. Laryngospasm is a condition characterized by a spasm of larynx thatlasts about a minute. Because of this disorder, the lungs are not supplied withenough of oxygen and the breathing is very difficult, which in some severecases can even cause asphyxia or suffocation. If the tetanusinfection reaches the brain, tetanic seizures may occur. Tetanic seizures arevery much alike to epileptic fits.
Furthermore, tetanus may alsolead to the development of pulmonary embolism, which is a very serious diseasethat can even be fatal. Pulmonary embolism occurs as a result of theblood clots in the lungs and circulation and breathing are thusaffected. Rhabdomyolysis is a very serious disorder that appears as theconsequence of severe spasms of tetanus affected muscles. This condition isfeatured by the fast destruction of skeletal muscles and the leaking ofmyoglobin into the urine, which can lead to the acute renal failure.