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Scratched in garden. Can tetanus wait?

(19 Posts)
nikki1978 Sun 17-Aug-14 10:23:41

I am pretty sure the last time I had a tetanus shot was 20 years ago. Yesterday we were working on our new garden cutting down a lot of old plants and removing trellis. I dropped a piece of trellis and a nail scratched me. It broke the skin slightly where the nail hit but is very much a surface wound. The nail wasn't rusty or covered in mud but presumably is a bit dirty having been outside for many years!

If I go to the gp tomorrow to get a booster is that ok or should I be rushing to a&e? I suffer from health anxiety so am trying to keep calm (having cbt at the moment so am working a lot on the anxiety).

tilbatilba Sun 17-Aug-14 10:33:40

A booster tomorrow is fine! Just flush the wound with water and if you have betadine or something similar give it a swipe with that.

nikki1978 Sun 17-Aug-14 10:36:18

Yes I washed it straight away and stuck some salon on it then did it again after we finished gardening.

Thank you - I am a terrible worrier so you have pit my mind at rest smile

nikki1978 Sun 17-Aug-14 10:36:35

Savlon not salon!

tilbatilba Sun 17-Aug-14 10:42:11

Sounds perfect - you'll be fine but make an appointment for tomorrow
now!

Bohemond Sun 17-Aug-14 10:43:18

It wouldn't even cross my mind to get a jab for something so tiny - I think you will be ok

nikki1978 Sun 17-Aug-14 10:44:36

That's the evils of health anxiety bohemond sad I wish I was like you!

RidgyTipper Sun 17-Aug-14 11:02:03

Do you understand what tetanus is? It is an infection which occurs deep in the body's tissues when certain bacteria start multiplying. These bacteria can only multiply in the absence of oxygen. Oxygen is carried in your bloodstream. Any wound which bleeds freely to the surface of your skin can not support the growth of tetanus-forming bacteria. The only wounds which are risky for tetanus are deep with little or no bleeding and no possibility for oxygenation. No decent GP will entertain giving you an unnecessary vaccination or immunoglobulin preparation.

nikki1978 Sun 17-Aug-14 11:08:46

Oh ok. Thanks. Yes I am guilty of presuming the worst due to my ignorance when it come to my mental health issues.

The reason I thought I should get the jab is it should be done every 10 years shouldn't it? This incident made me aware that I am not up to date and since there is a lot more work to do I thought I should get it done soon smile

ShadowsShadowsEverywhere Sun 17-Aug-14 11:11:50

I used to work with my uncle who was a Gardner. I would come home covered in scratches from nails, trellis, roses. The only time he would have been concerned would have been if a nail or similar became embedded in the body, was very deep or not clean or a jagged wound that may need stitches. He would never have considered needing a tetanus shot, never. Particularly not in the UK.

ShadowsShadowsEverywhere Sun 17-Aug-14 11:12:50

I've lives through several decades and never had a tetanus shot OP. I think that may be something I've seen on American tv shows but it's not something that is routinely done in the uk.

nikki1978 Sun 17-Aug-14 11:21:49

Really? I just remember when dh trod on a rusty nail they gave him a tetanus shot.

ilovepowerhoop Sun 17-Aug-14 11:33:47

I'm sure I have read that if you have had 5 tetanus jabd then you are covered for life so wouldn't need any boosters. I may be wrong though

ilovepowerhoop Sun 17-Aug-14 11:38:36

www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1316.aspx?categoryid=67&subcategoryid=150 - if you have had 5 jabs and the injury is not serious then you do not need a tetanus booster

Bohemond Sun 17-Aug-14 12:34:24

I do feel for you OP and I should have been a little less brusque. Mumsnet is starting to make me worry that I should perhaps be more worried about things it has never crossed my mind to worry about! I've just read the slightly reaheated pizza thread - it wouldn't cross my mind to worry about that either (or some of the other pregnancy eating worries that people seem to have on here).

I do a lot of gardening - I wear thick gloves and typically wear long sleeves all the time so I don't get scratched (for aesthetic rather than health reasons). May be helpful to consider for the rest of the work you are doing.

Bohemond Sun 17-Aug-14 12:35:26

Forgot to say - I have actually had a mild case of tetanus. But I got it from the jab!

nikki1978 Sun 17-Aug-14 13:33:47

Better to be carefree and not waste your life worrying bohemond!

Yes I am wearing more sensible clothes today!

No idea if I had all 5 jabs. Last one seems to be when I was 12.

ilovepowerhoop Sun 17-Aug-14 13:41:36

the 5th tetanus should have been given somewhere between age 13-18 according to this schedule

ilovepowerhoop Sun 17-Aug-14 13:44:00

nhs also says this;

A vaccination to protect against tetanus is given as part of the NHS childhood vaccination programme.
The full course of the tetanus vaccination consists of five doses. The first three doses are given in the 5-in-1 vaccine for babies at two, three and four months of age.
This is followed by a booster of tetanus vaccine in the 4-in-1 pre-school booster jab which is given around four years of age.
And a final booster against tetanus is given to children betweeen 13 and 18 years of age as part of the 3-in-1 teenager booster.
After the full course of five injections, you should have lifelong immunity against tetanus. However, if you or your child has a deep wound, it's best to get medical advice.
If you are not sure whether you've had the full course, for example because you were born in another country, contact your GP for advice.

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