A study on eleven cases of neonatal tetanus in Sabah, North Borneo, Malaysia

Abstract. Aim: To describe the demographic data, clinical presentation, and outcome of babies admitted to hospital with neonatal tetanus in Sabah. Methods: Retrospective review of babies with neonatal tetanus admitted to tertiary neonatal unit. Results: Eleven babies were admitted with neonatal tetanus between January 2007 and April 2009. All babies had non-immunized mothers and were home-delivered. The mean incubation period of neonatal tetanus was 6.8 (SD 2.2) days and the mean age of admission was 7.6 (SD 1.9) days. All had severe generalized tetanus on admission but were well upon discharge. Survival was 100% in this series. There was no follow-up. Conclusions: Neonatal tetanus still exists and should be considered in the differential diseases of sick infants. The presence of qualified neonatal units were crucial for the survival of neonates with tetanus.


*Corresponding Author: 

Fong Siew Moy, Department of Pediatrics,Hospital Likas, Karung Berkunci No 187, 88996 KotaKinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Tel.: +60 88 522600; Fax: +60 88 522778; E-mail: fongsm@gmail.com.