CLINICAL QUERIES: How often do patients need tetanus prophylaxis?

January 2009 
Volume 39  Number 1
Pages 24 - 24
  PDF Version Available!


I thought that tetanus immunizations should be updated every 10 years. But when I was recently treated for a cut, I was told that the immunization was good for only 5 years. What should I tell my patients?—M.C., NEB.

Jennifer Wilbeck, ACNP, CEN, FNP, MSN, replies: Because antibody levels decrease over time, routine tetanus boosters are recommended every 10 years. Some patients may fall below the minimum protective antibody level before 10 years have passed, so tetanus prophylaxis is recommended earlier for certain wounds.

Once the clinician assesses the ...

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