Author(s): Greco JB, Sacramento E, TavaresNeto J, Greco JB, Sacramento E, TavaresNeto J, Greco JB, Sacramento E, TavaresNeto J, Greco JB, Sacramento E, TavaresNeto J
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Abstract Evaluating tetanus immune status is not yet the usual clinical practice regarding patients with chronic ulcers or myasis. However, of 858 tetanus patients at Hospital Couto Maia (Salvador, Bahia, Brazil) aged 1 year or above, 2 had pressure ulcers and 17 had chronic ulceration of the lower limbs where these skin lesions were the ports of entry for Clostridium tetani. In these 19 cases, the following predisposing factors were described: venous insufficiency (n=6), sickle cell anemia (n=2), Hansen s disease (n=1), malnutrition (n=1), diabetes mellitus (n=1), trauma (n=1) and unknown factors (n=7). In 6 other cases, in addition to the Hansen s disease patient, the port of entry for tetanus was the site of extraction of Tunga penetrans larvae. In these 25 cases, the majority of patients (68\%) were over 40 years old (17/25) and all of these patients stated that they had either not followed a tetanus toxoid vaccination regimen (19/25), or had partially completed such a regimen, or did not give precise information (6/25). Among the same series studied, over half (52\%) of the patients died (13/25). We conclude that tetanus prevention must be included in the treatment of chronic skin ulcer patients, vaccination coverage should be increased among older people, and strategies aimed at improving coverage for all age groups must be reviewed.
This article was published in Braz J Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education