J Korean Acad Fam Med.  2008 Dec;29(12):948-951.

One Case of Tetanus after Taking Acupuncture

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University Shinchon Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea. kanghc@yuhs.ac


Tetanus is a neurologic disease which features the muscle spasm as the hallmark. It is an infectious disease with high mortality rate triggered by tetanospasmin produced by Clostridium tetani. This report concerns incidence of tetanus consequent to oriental medical care such as acupuncture and moxibustion. Although the tetanus occurrence has shown a remarkable decline since nationwide vaccinations in some of the developed countries, including Korea, it still remains to be an important issue, to be dealt within Korea, as the majority of the patients are old aged and Korean population is rapidly becoming an aging society. Furthermore, since more elders are coming to rely on Oriental medicine in Korea, the Korean elders are at a higher risk than elsewhere. The lack of medical experiences, including those in oriental medical field, has been hindering early diagnosis of Tetanus. This study aims to encourage rapid and accurate decisions in diagnosis and treatment through reviewing symptoms particularly specific to tetanus, and also to arouse attention to the riskiness of invasive procedures involving skin puncture.


tetanus; acupuncture; elderly
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