Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Anti Tetanus Injection

Dear Dr,

I am currently pregnancy at 7 months. I followed up my pregnancy in the government clinic and also in the private hospital. This week, the nurse in government clinic gave me an injection for Anti Tetanus and another injection will be given next month.
But my gynae doctor in the private hospital said the injection is not necessary. May I know what is the purpose for the injection?


Hi, CL,

Tetanus (破伤风) is an infection of the wound, particularly the dirty wound. For example if your hand is cut by a sharp object, the doctor usually will clean the wound with antiseptic and then routinely they will give you an anti tetanus injection.

After delivery, you will have an episiotomy wound in your private part. The purpose of this injection is to reduce the possibility of the tetanus infection in your episiotomy wound.

About 50 years ago, there were not many hospitals available in the country. Many pregnant mothers had to deliver their baby at home by using the traditional midwifes service. These midwife carried a bag of scissors and knife to the house and conduct the delivery in a not cleaned and hygienic environment. Some of the scissors may contain bacterias because they were not cleaned and aseptic.

After delivery, many mothers developed wound infection in the episiotomy part and some of them complicated by serious tetanus infection.

As a result, all the pregnant ladies during that time need to receive anti Tetanus injection before the delivery to prevent wound infection.

However, this injection is not compulsory any more nowaday if you decide to deliver your baby in the hospital setting. The instruments in the hospital are properly cleaned and aseptic. Some of the instruments like needle, blade and suture are disposable. They are used once only before throwing away. So the risk of wound infection is very low.

This anti tetanus injection may cause fever, muscle pain and allergic reaction. For these reasons most of the private gynaecologist have stopped giving this injection.

However, the government clinic still continue to give the injection until today to every pregnant mothers, because some of them still prefer to deliver at home by the traditional midwifes, especially those stay in the rural kampung, Sabah, Sarawak and the Orang Asli.

So, CL, I agree with your gynae doctor that this injection is not important as far as you deliver your baby in the hospital setting.


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr,

I'm 29 weeks pregnant and the government clinic has just given me the anti tetanus injection today, 2nd injection due next month. I understand it is not necessary with the hospital settings nowadays but if we've taken the injection, there'll be no harm as well right? Most probably I will deliver my baby in the hospital.


shamila said...

Dr,when should this anti tatanus vaccine should be given first?is it harmful to the baby if it is given in 2and a half month of pregnancy?

Unknown said...

Are there any kind of food that we're not suppose to eat after the injection? The nurse from the government clinic did not warn me and I had prawns in tom yam soup that night after the injection. It had been numb for past 2 days as warned by the nurse but now a little itchy n a patch of swell. Didn't scratch but worried it'll scar or bulge like BCG scars. Would it?

Janet Tanjuaquio said...

Hi doc...

sam here ,i'm 6 months pregnant and my gyne didn't advice me to have an anti tetanus vaccine even once. Since that vaccine is not really necessary to have, can i just don't do it coz my mom told me to have that even just once...

any advice..thanks

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