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Got wound after an accident. Now have low body temperature, feeling cold. Worried for tetanus infection

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Pediatrician, Critical Care
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 208 Questions
I have a body temp of 96.6, I can't sleep. I feel cold as well. I was recently in an accident and sustained a puncture wound (19 days ago). I'm worried it might be tetanus, but the only symptom I have that matches is elevated blood pressure. No spasms or cramps of any kind.
Posted Thu, 18 Apr 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Tejas Shah 15 minutes later

Welcome to XXXXXXX and asking for opinion here.

Tetanus is a infection, caused by toxins released by bacteria. Usually it follows infection in contaminated/dirty wound, in unimmunized individuals. Main symptom is muscle spasm in jaw and other muscles in the body. It becomes very difficulty to eat or swallow in this condition. There is no specific test to diagnose the condition, the diagnosis is based on physical examination in presence of specific signs.

Your temperature seems slightly lower. With feeling of cold, it is quite possible that you may be having an infection.

I am presuming that your vaccination status is up to date with regards to Tetanus. If not or you are not sure, please see your family physician and discuss with him regarding booster dose of Tetanus Vaccine (Tetanus Toxoid).

I would like to know few more things from yourself to guide you better with regards to your feeling of cold, inability to sleep etc.

Is your wound alright? Is there any discharge from it? Have you got any redness on skin surrounding the wound and spreading farther?

Please revert back to me with answers to my queries.

Dr Tejas Shah
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Got wound after an accident. Now have low body temperature, feeling cold. Worried for tetanus infection 19 minutes later
I am unsure regarding my immunization status. I can get a booster in the morning.
The wound is fine. No redness and the stitches came out last Friday. I had a persistent headache for 4 days that went away this morning, but other than what I mentioned, I'm fine.
Answered by Dr. Tejas Shah 22 minutes later
Thanks for reverting back so quickly.

If you are unsure about immunization status, it is worthwhile to discuss with your family physician and ask about booster dose of Tetanus.

For other symptoms, I would suggest trying simple medications like Tylenol (Paracetamol) and relaxing. You need to be examined by a physician to get to the cause of the symptoms.

Hope I have resolved your queries.

Do not hesitate to come back if you have any further queries or issues. Will be glad to assist you.

Dr Tejas Shah

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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