VOLUME 33 - NUMBER 4 - 2012

Factors affecting the prognosis of Albanian adult patients with generalized tetanus

  • Pilaca A.s., Beqiri A.I., Ndreau A.H., Puca E.S., Pepa A.K., Elezi F.M.
  • Original Articles, 105-109
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  • Background. Despite systematic vaccination of the population, tetanus continues to be a health problem in Albania, as in some other developing countries. In this study, our intent was to evaluate prognostic factors relating to death in adult patients with generalized tetanus.

    Methodology and patients. All the patients (60) included in the study were hospitalized at the regional hospitals of Shkodra and Korça, and the University Hospital Centre “Mother Theresa” of Tirana, Albania, during the period of 1984-2004. They had a mean age of 49.1+14.4 years, 43 (71.7%) were males and 40 (66.6%) of them lived in rural areas. The mean incubation period was 12 days and the case-fatality rate (CFR) was 38.3%.

    Results. The CFR in patients with an onset period ≥2 days was 21.7% and in those with <2 days was 48.6%, OR=0.29 (p<0.05). Patients >50 years old had a CFR=60.87% (OR=7, p<0.05). We found the high CFR to be significantly associated with urban residency, male gender, complicated wound, head localization, fever ≥ 38.4 °C, tachycardia > 120 beats/min, and hypertension.

    Discussion. The main prognostic factor of those analyzed in our study appeared to be the onset period and the age of the patients. We didn’t find significant differences in CFR in patients with different incubation periods. Clinicians must take into account that wound complication and localization, tachycardia and hypertension, high fever, male gender and urban residency significantly influence the prognoses of adults with generalized tetanus.

  • KEY WORDS: Tetanus - Prognostic factors - Case-fatality rate.