Letter Re: Tetanus: A Nasty, Fascinating Bug

Dear Jim-
I read with high interest the article about Tetanus from Dr. Bob. I found his information to be very important and helpful. I have just one point to include in the care of the neonate upon delivery and that is the essential practice of cutting the umbilical cord with a tool that is as clean as possible; sterile, if at all possible.  The tool doesn’t have to be a surgical instrument per se, just a clean, clean, clean piece of equipment be it a pair of scissors or a razor blade, etc.

We buried many a newborn child due to Tetanus on the New Guinea mission fields in the 1980s because babies born at home had umbilical cords cut with sharp rocks, pieces of glass, or knives used for carving meat.You get the picture. [Sanitary cutting instruments are] such a simple fix to a big potential problem.   Thank you for your consideration. – Elizabeth, RN