Experience with tetanus in a tertiary hospital in South East Nigeria

  • I O Onwuekwe
  • C C Onyedum
  • A C Nwabueze


Background: Tetanus has for long been an avoidable source of morbidity and mortality particularly in developing countries. The aim of this study was to review the experience with managing tetanus in a regional tertiary hospital in Nigeria. Methods: A retrospective study of patients who were admitted with a clinical diagnosis of tetanus between January 1999 and December 2003 was done. Relevant data were extracted from the patients' case records. Results: A total of 12 patients were identified within the time frame with a diagnosis of tetanus. There were more male than female patients (ratio 1.4:1) with city dwellers constituting a small majority. The mean age of the patients was 29.8 years. Lower limb injuries accounted for the portal of entry in 75% of cases while one case followed a practice of oral sex. All patients were managed in the general ward and no mortality was recorded despite the presence of dysautonomia in some patients. Conclusion: Despite the high rate of morbidity and mortality associated with tetanus in developing countries and despite some regional differences in presentation, careful clinical management even in resource poor countries can result in very good outcomes.

Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (1) 2008 pp. 50-52

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eISSN: 2667-0526
print ISSN: 1115-2613