What Is the Diagnosis and Treatment of Tetanus?

Q:
What is the diagnosis and treatment of tetanus?

A:
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.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.