Ethiopian Journal of Health Sciences

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

Clinical profile and outcome of pediatrics tetanus: the experience of a tertiary hospital in Ethiopia

Henok Tadele


Background: Tetanus is an acute vaccine preventable illness manifested by neuromuscular dysfunction due to a potent exotoxin, tetanospasmin produced by Clostridium tetani. It is a common health problem in developing countries like Ethiopia. The aim of this study was to assess clinical profile and outcome of Pediatrics tetanus in a referral hospital, South Ethiopia.

Methods: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study of medical records of 24 Pediatric tetanus patients who were admitted from July 2014 to June 2016 to the Pediatrics Department of Hawassa University Comprehensive Specialized Hospital, Hawassa-Ethiopia. Tetanus was diagnosed clinically. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS statistical software.

Results: The median age at diagnosis was 8 years with 19 (79.2%)of the study subjects being males. There were 3 male neonatal tetanus cases with 2 deaths. From post-neonatal cases, only 8(38.1%) were fully vaccinated for infant Expanded Period of Immunization (EPI). Booster vaccination with TT (tetanus toxoid) was only given to 5(29.4%) of discharged patients. Trauma was common in above 5 years of age and documented in 19(79.2%) of patients. All tetanus cases were generalized type with mild, moderate and severe grades comprising 7(29.2%), 8(33.3%), 7(29.2%) and 2(8.3%) respectively. Case fatality rate was 29.2% (7) with more deaths in higher grades. Respiratory failure 6(85.7%), and aspiration pneumonia 1(14.3%) were causes of death.

Conclusion: In this study, case fatality rate was high. Hence, health promotion with scale-up of EPI for infant tetanus immunization and large scale studies to provide support for booster vaccination schedules are recommended.

Keywords: Profile, outcome, tetanus, children, Ethiopia
AJOL African Journals Online