Intensive Care in Africa. The burden of tetanus

tetanus-2013-August1a

This 12 year old boy was admitted to the intensive care unit on 1 July 2013 with tetanus which is a disease that causes severe muscular spasms. Sometimes simple medicines control the spasms but if the disease is severe then nothing will stop the spasms until the patient is completely paralysed and put on a ventilator. This boy’s spasms were so severe that he had to be put on a ventilator after 5 days. Now in August he has survived and is re-learning to walk. To survive 5 weeks of intensive care in any country is a great achievement to the whole ICU team  but in rural Africa it is a very special achievement. We thank God and all the nurses, anaesthetists and doctors who worked so hard to give this boy a chance of life.