Tetanus neonatorum digital illustration

Tetanus neonatorum Save

ICD-10 code: A33

Chapter: Certain infectious and parasitic diseases

Tetanus Neonatorum - A Deadly Disease That Can Be Prevented

Tetanus Neonatorum, also known as neonatal tetanus, is a serious bacterial infection that affects newborn babies. It is caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani, which releases a toxin that attacks the nervous system and causes muscle spasms and rigidity.

The disease is mainly contracted through unhygienic delivery practices, such as cutting the umbilical cord with unsterilized instruments or using contaminated materials to dress the umbilical stump. It can also occur through infected wounds, such as from unclean tools used during circumcision.

Symptoms of tetanus neonatorum usually appear within 5-14 days after birth. The baby may have difficulty feeding, stiffness in the muscles, and spasms that can be triggered by noise or touch. As the disease progresses, the spasms can become more severe, leading to respiratory failure, and eventually death.


The good news is that tetanus neonatorum is a preventable disease. The most effective way to prevent the disease is through vaccination. The World Health Organization recommends that all pregnant women receive at least two doses of the tetanus vaccine during pregnancy to protect both the mother and the newborn baby.

In addition to vaccination, it is also important to practice good hygiene during delivery. This includes ensuring that all instruments used during delivery are sterilized, and that the umbilical cord stump is dressed with clean and sterile materials.


If a baby is diagnosed with tetanus neonatorum, immediate treatment is necessary to prevent complications and death. Treatment involves cleaning the wound and administering antitoxin to neutralize the toxin in the body. The baby may also be given antibiotics to prevent secondary infections and muscle relaxants to control the spasms.

  1. Conclusion

Tetanus neonatorum is a deadly disease that can be prevented through proper vaccination and hygienic delivery practices. It is important for all pregnant women to receive the tetanus vaccine and for healthcare providers to follow proper hygiene protocols during delivery. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are essential in ensuring the best outcome for babies affected by the disease.

By taking the necessary steps to prevent and treat tetanus neonatorum, we can help to protect the lives of newborn babies around the world.

Diagnosis Codes for Tetanus neonatorum | A33