A 5-Year Review of Tetanus Cases Among Adults in a Tertiary Hospital in South East Nigeria

EG Omejua, NI Nwosu, SK Onah, SN Chukwurah


Background: Tetanus remains an important cause of
preventable morbidity and mortality in developing
countries. There is paucity of data on the pattern of tetanus
among adults in south east Nigeria.
Objective: The aim was to review the patient
characteristics, risk factors, clinical features, treatment and
mortality among adult patients with tetanus in Nnamdi
Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, with
a view to reinforcing measures to address any identified risk
and poor prognostic factors.
Methods: This is a retrospective study of all adult patients
managed for tetanus in the medical wards of the NAUTH
Nnewi between 1st January 2005 and 31st December 2009.
Results: Nineteen patients were managed for tetanus in
the medical wards of NAUTH out of a total of 5336 patients
admitted in these wards during the study period. The male:
female ratio was 2.8:1. Their ages ranged from 20-75 years
with a mean of 44.8 ± 18.4 years. The lower limb was the
commonest site of injury (n=6; 31.6%). None of the patients
was fully vaccinated against tetanus. Case fatality rate (CFR)
was 52.6%. There was a trend towards increasing CFR with
increasing age (t= -1.8, p=0.09). Duration of hospital
admission was significantly shorter among patients who
died when compared to those who survived (t=4.8, p<0.001)

Conclusion: Tetanus, a vaccine-preventable disease
remains a public health challenge in Nigeria with a high CFR.
Health education of the public and health care provider
action to ensure full and up-to-date vaccination of all adults,
as being done in most developed countries, should be
vigorously pursued to prevent further avoidable deaths
from tetanus.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.