Diagnosis of Tetanus

A diagnosis of tetanus is usually made by the attending physician based on clinical observations of the patient’s condition, any cuts or swelling around wounds. The doctor then gets an account from the patient of any recent injuries, cuts while shaving etc, if no injuries are visible. Details regarding the date of the last tetanus shot taken give the doctor an idea of the need for a booster shot along with antibiotics to kill the bacteria and the antitoxin to tackle the toxin produced by them. Once the anti toxin is injected, the doctor may cleanse the wound and remove any foreign particles after a couple of hours to allow the anti toxin time to do its work. Medication to alleviate the pain and sedatives to soothe taut muscles are combined with an appropriate rehydration therapy as supportive measures. There are no specific tests required for the diagnosis of tetanus. 
Frequently asked questions
  1. Amy Million, Diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of tetanus, Primary Care Update for OB/GYNS, Volume 4, Issue 3, May–June 1997, Pages 75-79, ISSN 1068-607X, 10.1016/S1068-607X(97)00006-1.
  2. Warfield M. Firor, The prevention and treatment of tetanus, The American Journal of Surgery, Volume 46, Issue 3, December 1939, Pages 450-453, ISSN 0002-9610, 10.1016/S0002-9610(39)90303-X.