When does one need a Tetanus shot? Yesterday was removing nails from old wooden boards and got jabbed in the finger by one of them and bled. Is it usually ok or should I take precaution? I feel fine today but just wondering. I washed my hands with soap and poured purell hand sanitizer into it to hopefully kill bacteria.

Hi, James,

It all depends on when you had the last one and the type of injury. Generally with an injury like you are describing, if you have had a tetanus shot within 5-10 years, you will be fine.  This was not a particularly tetanus prone injury, unless the board was covered with nasty stuff.  

Keep an eye on the injury itself to be sure it doesn't get infected with non-tetanus bacteria.  Sounds like your wound care was great.

Good luck, dr. Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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