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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-17

Tetanus and its continuing menace in the developing world: Critical care management

Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Central Health Services, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Uma Hariharan
Fellowship Oncoanaesthesia, CCEPC, DNB, FICA, Advanced Regional Anesthesia, BH 41, East Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi - 110 088
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sccj.sccj_4_18

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Tetanus, also known as lockjaw, is an infection characterized by muscle spasms. In the most common type, the spasms begin in the jaw and then progress to the rest of the body. These spasms usually last a few minutes each time and occur frequently for three to four weeks. Tetanus is a disease caused by the toxin produced by the ubiquitous bacterium, Clostridium tetani. C tetani infection can be acquired through surgery, intravenous drug abuse, the neonate's umbilicus, bites, burns, body piercing, puncture wounds, and ear infections. This organism can enter through any break in the integrity of the body. We hereby describe the successful management, including critical care challenges of a case of Tetanus in a young male patient following a minor toe injury. Timely airway management followed by early tracheostomy with effective control of muscle spasms and other supportive therapy is highlighted. Tetanus continues to be a menacing infectious disease with high fatality in the developing world.

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