Emergency care for problems after miscarriage or abortion
Tetanus is a type of infection that can be caused by unsafe abortion.
Women who have not been vaccinated against tetanus face a high risk of
becoming sick or even dying from tetanus if anything that was not sterilized was
put into their womb during an abortion.
If a woman had an unsafe abortion
and she may not have been vaccinated
against tetanus in the last 10 years,
give her tetanus antitoxin immediately.
To protect against a tetanus infection
• inject 1500 Units tetanus antitoxin..............................in the muscle
and 4 weeks later
• inject 0.5 ml tetanus toxoid vaccination.................in the muscle
Signs of tetanus
• difficulty swallowing
• stiff neck
• jaw spasms
• tense or rigid body
• painful muscle contractions
Signs of a tetanus infection might start weeks after the infection happened.
If a woman is sick with tetanus, get medical help right away. On the way, help
her lie down on her side, keep her calm, and protect her from light.
All women should receive vaccinations to prevent them from getting tetanus.
See page 102 for information on tetanus vaccinations.
A Book for Midwives (2010)