Tetanus ... What's the latest thinking?
Category: Health > Medicine
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $2.00
24 Nov 2002 05:59 PST
Expires: 24 Dec 2002 05:59 PST
Question ID: 113605
Last Thursday, I cut my thumb when opening a can of tuna. Lots of blood but I was very brave (after having been undeniably stupid). On Friday, a friend of mine suggested that I should go for a tetanus jab. Accordingly, I saw a nurse at my local Health Practice (I live in the UK). She asked 'When did I have my last tetanus jab?' and 'How many had I had during my lifetime?' (5 seems to be the accepted maximum) I told her '30 years' and, as far as I could recall, that was the only one that I had ever had. 'Aha', she said, 'But how do you know?' The more that we debated the question, the more I realised that I had absolutely no idea what had been pumped into me when I was a kid ... Or when I was in the Army. So, no jab. (Apparently if the wound had been exposed to soil there would have been a higher risk and I would then have got the jab.) This was VERY different from my experience 30 years ago when I went to hospital with a cut finger. In those days, a jab was mandatory and, certainly, I was never quizzed about my lifetime history. I now have the distinct suspicion that it is possible to overdose on tetanus jabs. My question is: What research has given rise to this change of thinking? (Apparently there is a Government directive.) I am not at all worried ... just curious. (PS If I am unable to rate the answer, maybe it's because I've tootled across to the other side.)
Re: Tetanus ... What's the latest thinking?
Answered By: peggy_bill-ga on 25 Nov 2002 08:31 PST
Hello probonopublico, Health recommendations for tetanus from American medical sources all state that immunizations should begin in infancy with the DPT series of shots. Adults should get boosters every 10 years. As far as I could tell that was the only recommendation around. Then I found this article by Dr Mendelsohn MD. Tetanus vaccine, <http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/tetanus.htm> Dr Mendelsohn sites several references, and it is interesting reading. He lists a series of reasons why getting tetanus vaccines may actually be harmful. The ones I thought were most compelling were the following. There is evidence that frequent tetanus boosters may be associated with immune system problems, and may in fact be a culprit in increased auto-immune diseases. There is no hard scientific evidence that the booster shots are actually effective, as there doesnt seem to have ever been a large scale controlled experiment addressing this issue. Apparently, for safety reasons, the vaccines have been diluted every year, and they may no longer be anything more than water. These suspicions have some how made it into health practice in the UK. I have never heard it mentioned here in the US. I hope this answers your question. pba Keywords Used: tetanus vaccine http://search.dogpile.com/texis/search?method=&q=tetanus&geo=no&brand=dogpile&cat=web&top=1 tetanus vaccine ://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&as_qdr=all&q=tetanus+vaccine&btnG=Google+Search
rated this answer:
and gave an additional tip of:
Hi, Peggy_Bill Brilliant! Just the information that I was hoping someone could turn up. I tried myself ... but, of course, it's so much more rewarding when a real pro goes to work. Many thanks Kindest regards Bryan
Re: Tetanus ... What's the latest thinking?
From: highroute-ga on 24 Nov 2002 17:19 PST
The tetanus vaccine is usually given to children as a series of DTaP (diptheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccinations. After age 7, everyone should get a booster "Td" (tetanus and diptheria) vaccination every 10 years throughout life. I just had one a few months ago. It made my arm sore for a few days. I'm not a medical professional, but I gather the preventive treatment for possible exposure to tetanus is a Td booster UNLESS you last had one maybe 5 years ago or less, in which case nothing. The following document on the Web site of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) should be helpful. It's an Adobe Acrobat (TM) file, so you'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader (it's free) installed. http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/VIS/vis-td.pdf More information about the tetanus vaccine from that site: http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vaccine/tetanus/
If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at email@example.com with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
|Search Google Answers for|