The Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Lockjaw

Treatment. A person who comes down with tetanus needs to be hospitalized as soon as symptoms set in. Ideally, they must be kept in a room that is both dark and quiet, for stimuli such as light and noise can actually bring on the spasms. The doctor will run blood tests and culture the wound to get a definitive diagnosis.

The patient may need to placed on a respirator to help them breathe and given fluids and drugs delivered intravenously. These drugs include antitoxins to combat the toxins secreted by the bacteria, muscle relaxants and anticonvulsants, sedatives, antibiotics and a vaccine that kills the tetanus and other bacteria. If the wound is badly infected, surgery may be needed to correct it. If the patient is given good treatment and their infection is mild or moderate, they can fully recover from tetanus. This takes about a month. The patient can resume their usual tasks slowly during their recovery period.