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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97-102

Tetanus: an analysis of the prognosticating factors of cases admitted into the medical wards of a tertiary hospital in a developing African country between 1990 and 2000

Department of Medicine, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

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O A Ogunrin
Department of Medicine, University of Benin, Benin City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This is an analysis of the effects of prognosticating factors on the outcome of patients with tetanus who were seen in our hospital between 1990 and 2000. Tetanus remains a major public health hazard associated with high mortality. A total of 66 cases were analysed with a slight female preponderance. The mortality rate was 26.2% with an age-adjusted fatality rate of 16.2% for those under 40 years of age. This increased to 75% for those patients above 70 years of age. The most common portal of entry was lower limb, specifically the foot, and this was the case in 56%. The socio-economic status of the patients, the immunisation status, the incubation period, the age of the patient, the severity of the spasms, the duration of hospital stay, the type of treatment received and the onset time were found to affect the outcome of the patients. We recommend that health care providers should take every opportunity to review the vaccination status of their parents and provide tetanus vaccine when indicated, and recall when treating injured patients that many middle-aged and older adults are not adequately immunised against tetanus.

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