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Who is at highest risk for suffering complications from Tetanus?


Individuals who are more likely to have complications include:1

  • Those who experience a disease onset within 2 days
  • Persons who have a tetanus incubation period of less than one week
  • A narcotics addiction
  • A diagnosis of generalized tetanus
  • Individuals who sustained tetanus through surgical wounds, abortion, burns, compound fractures, and intramuscular injection
  • Newborns who develop tetanus by means of their umbilical stump
  • Persons who develop fever greater than 104 F (40 C)
  • Individuals, including newborns, who experience elevated heart rates (tachycardia)

Cephalic and neonatal tetanus are considered the most serious and life-threatening forms of the disease and individuals who require mechanical ventilation as a result of tetanus have been noted to be at higher risk of death from the disease.2

IMPORTANT NOTE: NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Tetanus and the Tetanus vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents , which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

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1 Hinfey PB Tetanus – Prognosis Medscape Jan. 18, 2019

2 Ibid

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