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Fatal Tetanus Complicating an Untreated Mild Open Head Injury: A Case-Illustrated Review of Cephalic Tetanus.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23039234     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Abstract Background: Tetanus is now a rare disease in the Western world, but not so in developing countries. Cephalic tetanus, unlike some other local forms of the disease, is likely to be fatal. Methods: We describe the clinical presentation of a case of fatal cephalic tetanus complicating an unattended open non-severe head injury with a review of the literature on the disease. Results: Few cases of cephalic tetanus complicating head injury are found in the world literature, and many were diagnosed late. Cephalic tetanus from open or compound depressed skull fracture is even more rare. Our patient was a young male with an uncertain tetanus immunization history who sustained mild head injury (scalp laceration) and an unattended open depressed skull fracture in a motorcycle crash. He developed cephalic tetanus seven days later, presented late to our service, and died while being prepared for surgical debridement of his cranial wounds. At the immediate post-trauma medical contact, in an across-the-street "clinic," he had received suboptimal care for his head wound and inadequate tetanus prophylaxis. Conclusion: Cephalic tetanus is a rare form of the disease. Although it is preventable easily by well-established medical and surgical treatment paradigms, it continues to catch many clinicians disastrously unaware.
Authors:
Amos O Adeleye; Abiodun L Azeez
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-10-5
Journal Detail:
Title:  Surgical infections     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1557-8674     ISO Abbreviation:  Surg Infect (Larchmt)     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-8     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9815642     Medline TA:  Surg Infect (Larchmt)     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
1 Division of Neurological Surgery, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, and University College Hospital , Ibadan, Nigeria .
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