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Any wound that results in a break in the skin should be cleaned with soap and running water.

All open wounds are at risk to get tetanus .  Wounds from objects outdoors or crush injuries are at higher risk.

Apply a clean and dry cloth to stop or minimize bleeding.

Apply direct pressure to the site of bleeding to help minimize blood loss.

If a person develops signs of tetanus -- muscle spasms, especially of the neck and jaw, muscle stiffness, or difficulty breathing -- immediate medical attention is necessary.

Medical Treatment

  • Antibiotics and antitoxin to kill the bacteria and the toxin
  • Wound cleansing to remove any obvious bacteria collections (abscesses) or foreign bodies
  • Supportive measures
  • Pain medicine as needed
  • Sedatives such as diazepam (Valium) to control muscle spasms
  • Ventilator support to help with breathing in the event of spasms of the vocal cords or the respiratory muscles
  • IV rehydration because, as your muscles spasm constantly, increased metabolic demands are placed on your body

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