tetan-, tetano-, tetani-
(Greek: tension, especially a convulsive tension; muscle spasm or tetanus, an infectious disease characterized by muscle spasms)
It is marked by trismus (prolonged spasm of the jaw muscles), facial paralysis on one side, and pronounced dysphagia (when swallowing is difficult or painful). It resembles rabies and is often fatal.
2. A form of tetanus in which the onset and progress of the disease are slower and more prolonged and the symptoms are less severe.
2. A stammering with difficulties in pronouncing "guttural" sounds due to spasm of the laryngeal muscles.
Trismus, tonic contraction of jaw muscles, is usually absent.
2. Capable of producing muscle spasms; such as, those seen in tetanus.
2. A sustained muscular contraction resulting from a rapid series of nerve impulses.
3. An acute and serious infection of the central nervous system caused by bacterial infection of open wounds; spasms of the jaw and laryngeal muscles may occur during the late stages.
The disease manifests by the onset of extremely painful muscular contractions that usually begin gradually but may appear suddenly.
- The first sign is stiffness of the jaw, esophageal muscles, and some of the muscles of the neck.
- The jaws become rigidly fixed (trismus), the voice is altered, and the muscles of the face contract, producing a wild excited expression and a combination of bitter laughter and crying.
- The muscles of the back and extremities become tetanic.
- The paroxysms are reflex and are excited by noises, currents of air, and irritation of bedclothes.
- The person's temperature usually rises and may become extremely high.
- The patient also suffers from hunger, thirst, and lack of sleep.
- The mind is usually clear.
- This disease is usually fatal, with the patient expiring from asphyxia or exhaustion.
The contractions may be of brief duration or last some weeks.
It may occur in infants; especially, newborns in intensive care units. High risk infants include premature newborns of diabetic mothers and those who have had perinatal asphyxia (suffocation as a result of physical blockage of the airway or inhalation of toxic gases, causing a lack of oxygen and unconsciousness).