Saturday, August 30, 2008

Had to read up on puncture wounds...

I was awakened from my afternoon nap by the neighbor coming to tell me that Michael had stepped on a screw. I wasn't surprized by the incident. I don't know why, but I consider that sort of injury common to childhood experiences. I stepped on more than one nail and had my mom freak out about the posibility of lock jaw.

So, I calmly walk down through the yard and find him being treated on the couch with perioxide and triple anti-biotic. It was a screw that had held part of a ladder leading up the tree to the neighbors' tree house. One of the rungs had come out of the tree. Michael slipped while attempting to climb up without that rung and landed directly on the screw. It went through his sandal and into the ball of his foot. OUCH!

He was calm and collected when I arrived. The neighbor called the school nurse to ask about tetnus shots. He had to have had it before entering school. I don't keep that information at the forefront of my memory. She suggested getting another shot. Bleh, Michael started to get nervous at that thought. And, it's Saturday, which means time spent WAITING at any treatment facility we go to.

So then the neighbor calls the after hours care center near by. They don't have the pediatric tetnus shot, so don't bother going there. GREAT!

I pack up Michael, figuring that we are off to the ER. He insists he can't walk on it, so I give him a piggy-back ride up the hill through the yard to our house.

I call the ER and explain the incident. She says to go to the after hours care center. "I called there, they don't have the shot," I inform her. She says, "you have 72 hours, go to your family physician on Monday." "It's Labor Day on Monday," I say flatly. She cheerfully (or facetiously) says, "well then we are your last option, hold on."

When she comes back on the line, she tells me that once a child has completed their series of tetnus shots (which they need to do by the start of public school), they are set until the booster at 11 or 12. Phew.

The neighbor called to say that the object that caused the puncture was a galvinzed screw, so there would be no rust. Now, I always thought that tetnus was caused by rust (and apparently so did my neighbor), as in a rusty nail. But, after reading the WebMD version of the tetnus bacteria, that is NOT the case. It is a bacteria in dirt, apparently, that enters the body through a wound, in this case a puncture. It can be carried on dirty objects like a rusty nail.

So, now we are just praying that it doesn't get an infection.

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