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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Hospital doctor said ds1 needs a tetanus jab.

(33 Posts)
TheOriginalFAB Fri 15-Jul-11 17:45:43

The surgery receptionist is questioning why and I don't understand. Doc didn't want to do it then as he had enough stuff going round his system. He had a bad reaction to a wasp sting.

Northernlurker Fri 15-Jul-11 17:52:25

How old is he?

I've just booked dd1 in for one next week. She is 13 and when we are at the GP for something else we asked about this. She has had her 3 baby jabs, 1 pre school booster and so this will make 5 (she is 13 so the booster was nearly 10 years ago) The GP said you should have 5 in a lifetime to give immunity so we might as well get it done now. She is going on an outdoor activity holiday shortly after that so it seemed a good plan.

Riveninside Fri 15-Jul-11 17:54:29

Why would you need a tetanus jab for a wasp sting? Theres no tetanus toxoid in a sting!

mousymouse Fri 15-Jul-11 17:54:34

might be a good idea, wasps give 'unclean' stings as they sit on anything edible be it poo or ice cream [bleurgh].
last time my ds had to have a jab after a nasty rusty injury there was only triple jab (diphteria, tetanus, dunno) available, I don't know if there is a single jab available but the dr should know.
hope ds gets better soon.

Northernlurker Fri 15-Jul-11 17:55:21

Sorry just realised that doesn't answer your question! Your son is being recommended for a tetanus jab because presumably the doctor sees the penetrating injury of the sting as a risk factor.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 15-Jul-11 18:00:48

He is 10. He took the sting out himself before I even knew he had been strung. It was 3 hours before he was ill.

The receptionist is ???? it as he has had his baby jabs.

Northernlurker Fri 15-Jul-11 18:10:54

Well unless the receptionist has been to medical school I would suggest she wrap up! I don't say that lightly as am NHS manager myself grin
The chances of him contracting tetatnus in this way are very, very small but a booster is being recommended and the childhood doses are not considered enough to confer immunity in everybody.

bumbleymummy Fri 15-Jul-11 18:18:56

When was the doctor planning on giving it? Wasn't the wasp sting a few days ago (I remember seeing your thread) I think the chances of contracting tetanus from a wasp sting are miniscule(there are only about 7 cases of tetanus in the UK and I'm pretty sure they aren't down to wasp stings! smile) In any case, if he had his preschool jabs then it's less than 10 years since he would have had his last tetanus vax. I think the doctor is being a bit over cautious tbh but it's up to you.

bumbleymummy Fri 15-Jul-11 18:19:18

7 cases a year*

TheOriginalFAB Fri 15-Jul-11 18:22:08

Yes, he was stung on Wed but not sure when he can get the jab as the receptionist won't give me an appointment until he gets the details from A & E. (Now got as I rang them and asked them to fax them over). I still can't book an appointment for it though until the nurse has seen the message.

I just don't understand why he has to have it.

Northernlurker Fri 15-Jul-11 18:24:16

I've never heard it related to stings either but a wasp sting is basically a dirty puncture wound so it makes sense as an infection mechanism. I'm not big on medical treatment without indication either but I think the safety of tetanus boosters for most dcs is well established (nothing is 100%) and the possible effects of tetanus too horrible to contemplate so it's a no brainer for me.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 15-Jul-11 18:32:55

But seeing as it appears it will be at least a week after the sting, will it still be worth him having itr?

Riveninside Fri 15-Jul-11 18:42:13

He doesnt have to have it. Its a wasp sting. Theres thousands yearly. And its now been a week.

bumbleymummy Fri 15-Jul-11 19:27:09

TOF, I think it's 3 days to get a tetanus jab - incubation period for tetanus is 4 to 10 days. Are there any signs of infection?

Just want to point out that the last case of tetanus in an under 15 was back in 2001/02 in a girl who had been fully vaccinated. She made a full recovery.

bumbleymummy Fri 15-Jul-11 20:03:50

Incubation is up to 21 days - sorry! smile

springboksaplenty Fri 15-Jul-11 20:10:58

I can see why a wasp sting could be classed as a dirty puncture wound and I certainly think the receptionist should wind her neck in until she gets her own medical degree.

The reason why the incidence of tetanus is so low is because of the availability of tetanus jab. Your ds would also be able to skip his school booster as he would have had one recently, so wouldn't be receiving an additional jab IYSWIM.

TheOriginalFAB Fri 15-Jul-11 20:34:36

I am so confused (have had very little sleep this week.)

Would he have had a tetanus at 4 in his preschool booster but needs one now because he is 10 or because he has had a sting?

Sidge Fri 15-Jul-11 20:38:36

If he's had all his baby jabs and had his preschool boosters he will be covered for tetanus.

A wasp sting is not a tetanus prone wound and doesn't in itself mean that a tetanus booster is needed.

Scroll down to pages 379-381 for clarification

TheOriginalFAB Fri 15-Jul-11 20:43:51

He also reacts badly to every jab he has ever had.

Thanks for the info.

LudwigVanBeetroot Fri 15-Jul-11 20:50:12

OP, I agree with others that the sting is highly unlikely to cause tetanus. It would also be worth mentioning that the vaccine is entirely useless AFTER an injury that could possibly cause tetanus. Doctors do it routinely in these instances as a just in case reminder precaution against any future infection as tetanus can be very dangerous and there is no cure in 20% of cases. Which is why of all vaccinations it's the one most worth having. You can have it solo as it were (ie. not as part of DTAP) privately.

LudwigVanBeetroot Fri 15-Jul-11 20:52:47

OP, I agree with others that the sting is highly unlikely to cause tetanus. It would also be worth mentioning that the vaccine is entirely useless AFTER an injury that could possibly cause tetanus. Doctors do it routinely in these instances as a just in case reminder precaution against any future infection as tetanus can be very dangerous and there is no cure in 20% of cases. Which is why of all vaccinations it's the one most worth having. You can have it solo as it were (ie. not as part of DTAP) privately.

Riveninside Sat 16-Jul-11 11:11:42

After an injury you can have a injection of immuno- something. Forgot what its called. But they only trot it out for deep dirty puncture wounds. 99.99% of stings are never seen by a doctor. As it should be. Its a wasp sting, not a dog bite.

TheOriginalFAB Sat 16-Jul-11 14:03:33

Well, ds1 was seen by a doctor as he had a bad reaction to it 3 hours later.

ragged Sat 16-Jul-11 21:23:23

I presume they just noticed as a routine thing that he was due a tetanus booster because it's ten years since his last tetanus, just when you happen to bring him in or ask about the wasp sting. He's due for booster regardless of the wasp sting.

It's up to you whether you think it's worth the risk.

ragged Sat 16-Jul-11 21:24:10

Oh gosh, and that's making me realise that DS (almost 12) should get booked in for a tetanus booster too, sometime.

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