For the first time in 30 years in Oregon, the child was diagnosed with tetanus

6-year-old boy was playing on a farm in Oregon, fell and cut his forehead. In the end, due to the small scratches he was in the hospital for about 8 weeks, mostly in a dark room. And his parents must pay nearly $1 million for health services.

First nothing foretold troubles: parents cleaned and stitched the wound, and for some time all was well. However, after 6 days, the boy suddenly started having terrible cramps, and he began to cry. When the child started having trouble breathing, the parents called the ambulance.

Upon arrival at the hospital due to spasms of the jaw, the boy couldn’t even drink water. He also observed the contraction of the muscles of the back and neck, which is called opisthotonos — arching of uncontrolled back tilting his head back, stretching the legs, bending of the arms, hands, feet and fingers.

According to a report released March 7 by the Centre for control and prevention (CDC), the doctors at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital gave the boy the diagnosis of tetanus is the first documented case of the disease in Oregon over the past 30 years. The boy was placed in the intensive care unit (ICU) where he underwent vaccination against tetanus and given medication that contains antibodies to fight the bacteria.

The report says that the boy remained in the ICU for 47 days: all this time he was in a dark room with ear plugs in, also he needed a ventilator, medicines for blood pressure and muscle spasms. After several weeks of rehabilitation, the child’s parents received a bill of $811 929. And this amount does not include transportation of the boy to the hospital from the farm, his time in rehab and subsequent costs.

Despite the experiences of the victim and family, the huge costs and the recommendations of doctors, the parents refused to give the boy a second dose of vaccine against tetanus, together with other necessary vaccinations. In an interview with Live Science , Dr. William Shaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said that the infection was “a tragic case, which [could] be prevented entirely“. In his opinion, the decision of parents not to give him a second dose of vaccine can cause the situation again.

The CDC recommends that several times in life to make a vaccine against tetanus:

  • children should be vaccinated at 2, 4 and 6 months, another in age from 15 to 18 months and then at 4-6 years;
  • during adolescence also need to be vaccinated against tetanus;
  • adults should be vaccinated against tetanus every 10 years.

In the United States unvaccinated boy was diagnosed with tetanus — this is the first case among children in 30 years updated: March 8, 2019 author: Katerina Moskalets
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