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Is it necessary to have Tetanus vaccine for open wound?

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Posted on Wed, 25 May 2016
Question: Hello doctor, i just want to make sure if my wound is a tetanus, i dont have any symptoms
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (28 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
can't say

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

a picture of a wound cannot be used to decide whether tetanus is present or not. A symptom free wound is not commonly suspicious. The same applies for clean wounds, although nothing can be excluded. The right thing to do is to make sure you're properly vaccinated for tetanus and to treat wounds promptly.

Tetanus vaccination has to be repeated every 10 years. If an injury occurs in the meantime then the following cases apply: an injury within the first 5 years after vaccination is considered safe tetanus-wise. If the injury is a dirty one (soiled for example) and occurred when more than 5 years from the last vaccination have passed, then the vaccination would have to be repeated. Other factors to be considered when deciding vaccination include:
- a wound treated more than 6 hours after the time it occurred.
- a deep (more than 1 cm) injury.
- a crush or burn injury (versus a sharp injury)
- an injury with devitalized tissue present.
- a injury with non-linear configuration (a stellate injury for example).

If no vaccination (or unknown) has been done in the past then tetanus immunoglobulin has to be administered within the first 24 hours after the injury and vaccination started at the same time but at a different site than the immunoglobulin.

I hope you find my comments helpful!
You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (1 hour later)
Hello doctor thank you for your response! I dont have any symptoms happening to me, and I just wanted to prevent it before, also, should I get a medical check before i get the vaccination? Im visiting my doctor next Wed, and if not, can i just get the vaccination in cvs or ralphs?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (3 hours later)
Brief Answer:
you'd better do it right away...

Detailed Answer:
The best preventive strategy regarding tetanus post-exposure prophylaxis is to do the vaccine (and the immunoglobulin if needed) right away. You've got to check your immunization status to see if you do need a vaccine. But you'd better do it right away! Of course you can do it next Wednesday, if you can't do it now.

I can't answer about the pharmacies, you've got to ask them but it's really no big deal. Any doctor, nurse or anyone else who knows how to do an intramuscular injection can do it.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3765 Questions

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Is it necessary to have Tetanus vaccine for open wound?

Brief Answer: can't say Detailed Answer: Hello, a picture of a wound cannot be used to decide whether tetanus is present or not. A symptom free wound is not commonly suspicious. The same applies for clean wounds, although nothing can be excluded. The right thing to do is to make sure you're properly vaccinated for tetanus and to treat wounds promptly. Tetanus vaccination has to be repeated every 10 years. If an injury occurs in the meantime then the following cases apply: an injury within the first 5 years after vaccination is considered safe tetanus-wise. If the injury is a dirty one (soiled for example) and occurred when more than 5 years from the last vaccination have passed, then the vaccination would have to be repeated. Other factors to be considered when deciding vaccination include: - a wound treated more than 6 hours after the time it occurred. - a deep (more than 1 cm) injury. - a crush or burn injury (versus a sharp injury) - an injury with devitalized tissue present. - a injury with non-linear configuration (a stellate injury for example). If no vaccination (or unknown) has been done in the past then tetanus immunoglobulin has to be administered within the first 24 hours after the injury and vaccination started at the same time but at a different site than the immunoglobulin. I hope you find my comments helpful! You can contact me again, if you'd like any clarification or further information. Kind Regards!