If you visit a doctor or general practitioner on a regular basis, then you should have received a tetanus vaccination within the past ten years. However, you may not know what tetanus is, what causes this type of infection, and how to treat it. Since this illness can be quite deadly if no medical attention is sought, it is important for people to be aware of how tetanus is spread and what its symptoms are.
A tetanus infection arises when spores of the C. tetani bacteria are inserted into the body, under the skin. These bacteria tend to infect humans through some sort of cut or laceration. Typically, they enter the body through some sort of puncture wound.
C. tetani tend to live in damp outdoor environments, such as in the soil or animal waste. These bacteria can also be found on rusty nails, which is the most common item associated with a tetanus infection. However, even though these are the most common locations of C. tetani, the bacterium can really be found just about anywhere.
C. tetani remains in a dormant, spore form until it enters the body and becomes activated. When this happens, it reproduces, multiplies, and releases a dangerous toxin known as tetanospasmin. If these bacteria are allowed to continue reproducing inside the body without treatment, then the victim will experience deterioration in his or her muscle control.
Tetanus symptoms typically do not arise in infected individuals until anywhere from several days to several weeks after the initial infection. They generally start off as mild complications but will worsen over time if treatment is not administered. This may happen as a result of misdiagnosis, failure to diagnose, or failure on behalf of the patient to seek medical attention.
Common symptoms of a tetanus infection include the following:
· Muscle spasms and uncontrolled contractions
· Breathing problems
· Jaw pain and stiffness
· Inability to swallow
· Inability to control urination or defecation
Tetanus can be fatal if it is left untreated. Those infected with this disease will be given medication or vaccines to fight off the bacteria. Long period of therapy are also often necessary to help the patient recover.
If you have developed tetanus from an injury sustained on another party’s property, you may have the right to claim compensation. The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Beltz & Ruth, P.A. can help you learn more about and explore your legal options. Visit http://www.beltzandruth.com/ to learn more.