A child who does develop tetanus will be treated in a hospital, usually in the intensive care unit. There, the child typically receives antibiotics to kill bacteria and TIG to neutralize the toxin that the bacteria have already released.

  1. The wound must be cleaned.
  2. Dead and infected tissue should be removed by surgical debridement.
  3. Metronidazole treatment decreases the number of bacteria but has no effect on the bacterial toxin.
  4. Penicillin was once used to treat tetanus, but is no longer the treatment of choice because of a theoretical risk of increased spasms.
  5. Passive immunization with human anti-tetanospasmin immunoglobulin or tetanus immune globulin is crucial.