Two Cases of Tetanus?


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Abstract

Tetanus is a rare infectious disease in Western countries that leads to diagnostic difficulties. Several diseases may mimic tetanus, and diagnostic considerations can at times be difficult, especially in critically ill patients, who need prompt treatment. Two patients are presented who were diagnosed with and treated for tetanus. However, the course of these patients' diseases strongly suggested that the diagnoses were incorrect. The article includes reflections on these 2 difficult diagnostic cases. These 2 cases illustrate the importance of proposing alternative diagnoses in suspected tetanus in Western countries. This may prevent loss of valuable time and prevent a delay of possibly effective therapy.

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