[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Most trauma patients visit the hospital via the emergency department. They are at high risk for tetanus infection because many trauma patients are wounded. Tetanus immunity in the Korean population has been revealed to be decreased in age groups over 20 years old. It is important for emergency physicians to vaccinate patients with the tetanus booster in wound management. METHODS: Questionnaires were sent to the directors of the emergency departments of resident training hospitals certified by the Korean Society of Emergency Medicine. RESULTS: Two thirds of the emergency department directors surveyed reported applying tetanus prophylaxis guidelines to more than 80% of wounded patients. However, about 45% of clinicians in the emergency departments considered giving less than half of the wounded patient tetanus booster vaccinations, and there were no distinct differences in tetanus booster vaccination rates among different age groups. Most emergency physicians are familiar with tetanus prophylaxis guidelines for wound management. However, more than half of the emergency department directors reported that the major reason for not considering tetanus-diphtheria vaccination was due to assumptions that patients already had tetanus immunity. CONCLUSION: Attitude changes should be encouraged among emergency physicians regarding tetanus prophylaxis. As emergency physicians are frequently confronted with patients that are at a high risk for tetanus infection in emergency situations, they need to be more informed regarding tetanus immunity epidemiology and encouraged to administer tetanus booster vaccines.
Scandinavian Journal of Trauma Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine 05/2012; 20(1):35. · 1.68 Impact Factor