Unvaccinated six-year-old boy gets tetanus; treatment costs US$800K

Unvaccinated six-year-old boy gets tetanus; treatment costs US$800K

While talking about the vaccines, the CDC also recommends that children are given five doses of the DTaP vaccine at two, four and six months of age, at 15-18 months of age and at four to six years of age.

It began in 2017, when the boy cut his forehead while playing outside.

After the incident, the child was "cleaned and sutured at home".

Doctors diagnosed him with tetanus and administered tetanus immune globulin and the vaccine shot for tetanus and pertussis called DTaP. Potentially deadly tetanus developed six days later.

Tetanus is a serious disease caused by a bacterial toxin that affects your nervous system, leading to painful muscle contractions, particularly of your jaw and neck muscles. Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in dirt that can enter the body through breaks in the skin, and vaccines are the best way to prevent it, per the CDC. Tetanus can interfere with your ability to breathe and can threaten your life.

"He was really sick and it was really hard to watch", Guzman-Cottrill told Stat News.

Six days after the OR boy got the cut, according to the CDC report, he had "episodes of crying, jaw clenching, and involuntary upper extremity muscle spasms", then had arching in his back and neck as well as more spasms. "He was alert and requested water but was unable to open his mouth".

Because any stimulation appeared to trigger more spasms, the boy received earplugs and was placed in a darkened room in the ICU, Guzman-Cottrill's team said. (Eriksson says doctors were gradually able to add more stimulation to his environment as his condition improved.) After 10 days in the intermediate care unit, where he began walking short distances, he was transferred to a rehabilitation center for 17 days.

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The total bill for his inpatient care was $811,929, Guzman-Cottrill and her colleagues said. This fee is exclusive of the cost of transportation of air along with inpatient rehab. From the late-1940s to today, tetanus cases have dropped from between 500 and 600 annually to an approximate annual rate of 29, reports the CDC.

Although their boy almost died and his hospitalisation racked up a healthcare bill of almost $812,000 (not including air transportation, inpatient rehabilitation and follow-up costs), the parents declined a second dose of the tetanus vaccine after he received an emergency shot in hospital.

"Unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated persons are at risk for tetanus, irrespective of age", the report said.

But the boy was unvaccinated, and he ended up suffering greatly and nearly dying from the first childhood case of tetanus doctors in the state had seen in more than 30 years, the Oregonian reports.

Turned out, the kid was never vaccinated for tetanus or other mandatory vaccinations. "That was an astounding point for me". Despite the near death experience of the boy, his Anti-vax family has chosen not to get him vaccinated any further.

The report, which was written by members of the Oregon Health and Science University Department of Pediatrics and the Oregon Health Authority's Public Health Division, comes after a large measles outbreak in Clark County, Washington, on the Oregon and Washington border.

About 30 people contract tetanus each year nationwide, according to the CDC, and 16 people died of it between 2009 and 2015.

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