Tetanus Shot Clinic in Long Beach, Huntington Beach, and Paramount, CA
Dr. Reddy and the team of medical professionals at Reddy Urgent Care at one of our locations can treat you if you feel that you need a tetanus booster or have symptoms related to tetanus. Call us for more information.
Table of Contents:
When should you get your tetanus shot?
How often do you need a tetanus shot for adults?
What happens if you don’t get a tetanus shot?
When should I see a doctor about tetanus?
Tetanus is a dangerous disease that affects the nervous system. It is caused by a toxin-producing bacterium. The disease causes muscle contractions, mostly in the nest and jaw muscles. This is usually referred to as lockjaw.
Tetanus can have severe complications that can be life-threatening. There is no cure for tetanus. If you contract tetanus, treatment will focus on managing the symptoms and complications until it is resolved.
Cases of tetanus are rare in America and other parts of the world due to the fact that vaccines are used widely around the developed world. Tetanus is still common in many countries.
Tetanus shots are vaccines that are recommended for everyone according to the Centers for Disease Control. The type and dosage will be different for adults and children.
A doctor or medical professional will give a DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) and DT (diphtheria and tetanus) shot to children who are younger than 7. The DTaP vaccine normally works with a 5-dose process that happens between the ages of 2 months and 4-6 years of age. Children should get a booster to this around 11 or 12 years of age.
It is recommended that adults who are over the age of 19 should get a tetanus booster every 10 years.
Women who are pregnant should get a booster in the third trimester of every pregnancy. This is recommended to protect the fetus.
There are times when tetanus shots are needed between booster shots. If you get a wound that is dirty and you are concerned about this, check with your doctor about getting one.
If you don’t get a tetanus shot, you run the risk of contracting Clostridium Tetani which will release a toxin called tetanospasmin. This toxin impairs the nerves that control muscles. It will take about 10 days for symptoms to appear after you have been infected, but it can take up to 3 weeks.
The most common type of tetanus is a vernalized form. Symptoms and signs will begin gradually and then worsen over a 2-week period. It normally starts in the jaw muscles and works its way down on the body.
Symptoms and signs of generalized tetanus:
• Painful muscle spasms, immovable muscles in the jaw
• Muscle tension around the lips which can produce a persistent grin
• Stiffness and painful spasms in the neck muscles
• Difficulty swallowing
• Stiff abdominal muscles
If left untreated it can progress to more painful seizure-like spasms. These can last for several minutes. The neck and back will usually arch, legs become rigid, arms get drawn into the body, and fists become clenched. The muscle stiffness in the neck and abdomen can cause breathing difficulties.
As the disease progresses further, it can affect blood pressure, making it high or low. It can cause a rapid heart rate, fever, and extreme sweating.
Tetanus is a serious and life-threatening disease. If you are having the symptoms of tetanus, seek emergency care.
Seek medical help in the following cases:
• It has been more than 10 years from the time when you had your last tetanus shot.
• You are not sure when your last tetanus shot was administered.
• You have a puncture wound, an animal bite, a foreign object in your wound, or a deep cut.
• Your wound is contaminated with soil, feces, saliva, or rust. If you don’t feel that you have cleaned the wound sufficiently after exposure to these things it is recommended to get a vaccination booster, especially if it has been five or more years since your last tetanus shot.
Call us for all your urgent care needs or you can walk in. We serve patients from Downtown Long Beach CA, Bixby Knolls Long Beach CA, East Side CA, Huntington Beach CA, Paramount CA, and Los Altos CA.