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BMC Infectious Diseases

, 8:112

First Online: 19 August 2008Received: 26 June 2007Accepted: 19 August 2008


BackgroundNeonatal tetanus NT is still considered as one of the major causes of neonatal death in many developing countries. The aim of the present study was to assess the characteristics of sixty-seven infants with the diagnosis of neonatal tetanus followed-up in the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Ward of Dicle University Hospital, Diyarbakir, between 1991 and 2006, and to draw attention to factors that may contribute or may have contributed to the elimination of the disease in Diyarbakir.

MethodsThe data of sixty-seven infants whose epidemiological and clinical findings were compatible with neonatal tetanus were reviewed. Patients were stratified into two groups according to whether they survived or not to assess the effect of certain factors in the prognosis. Factors having a contribution to the higher rate of tetanus among newborn infants were discussed.

ResultsA total of 55 cases of NT had been hospitalized between 1991 and 1996 whereas only 12 patients admitted in the last decade. All of the infants had been delivered at home by untrained traditional birth attendants TBA, and none of the mothers had been immunized with tetanus toxoid during her pregnancy. Twenty-eight 41.8% of the infants died during their follow-up. Lower birth weight, younger age at onset of symptoms and at the time admission, the presence of opisthotonus, risus sardonicus and were associated with a higher mortality rate.

ConclusionAlthough the number of neonatal tetanus cases admitted to our clinic in recent years is lower than in the last decade efforts including appropriate health education of the masses, ensurement of access to antenatal sevices and increasing the rate of tetanus immunization among mothers still should be made in our region to achieve the goal of neonatal tetanus elimination.

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Autor: Bunyamin Dikici - Hakan Uzun - Ebru Yilmaz-Keskin - Taskin Tas - Ali Gunes - Halil Kocamaz - Capan Konca - Mehmet A Tas


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