Year : 2017  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-5

Pattern and outcome of tetanus in a tertiary health facility in Northwest Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Alhaji A Aliyu
Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jomt.jomt_46_16

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Background: Tetanus, a disease that is largely preventable, is still a major public health problem in the developing world and is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. There is a paucity of published literature on tetanus in adults (non-neonatal) in this study area. Materials and Methods: This was a 14-year retrospective study of patients who presented with a clinical diagnosis of tetanus in Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Northwest Nigeria between January 2001 and December 2014. Data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences computer software package. Results: A total of 91 cases were reviewed. The median age of patients was 14 years with a male-to-female ratio of 3:1. Majority of the patients (88%) were <40 years. Mean onset period was 19 days, majority of the patients (96.7%) had a generalized tetanus, and the most common presenting signs were spasm (93.4%) and trimus (78.0%). The most common site of injury in 64.8% of the cases was the lower limbs. The complication rate was 71.4%, and the mortality rate was 48.4%. Conclusion: Tetanus is still a major public health problem in our centre and affects people belonging to the younger age group with a high case of fatality rate. The incidence of tetanus can be reduced drastically by an effective and sustained immunization programme.

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