Overview & Description
A DPT immunization is a combined vaccine to protectagainst three diseases: diphtheria,Clostridium tetani\ bacteria. tetanus,and pertussis.
Diphtheria spreads when germs pass from an infected personto the nose or throat of others. It can lead to breathing problems, heartfailure, paralysis, and death.
Tetanus is caused by a germ that enters the body through acut or wound. It can lead to locking of the jaw joints and death.
Pertussis is a bacterial infection that is easy to catch. Itcauses severe coughing and gagging with little or no fever. The coughingmay end in vomiting or cause a “whoop” sound when the person tries tobreathe in.
When the full DPT vaccine series is given, it protects mostchildren. It also makes these diseases milder for those who do catch them.
Who is a candidate for the procedure?
DPT is one of the recommended childhood vaccines. It isrequired in most states.
How is the procedure performed?
The DPT vaccine is a shot that is given in the thigh or arm.A child needs five DPT shots for full protection. The first shot should begiven at 2 months of age. The second and third shots are given within thechild’s first year. The fourth shot is given at least 6 months after the third shot. Mostchildren get the fourth shot at about age 15 to 18 months. Thefifth shot, or booster, is given when the child is about to enter school. Inmost states, a child must have another DPT vaccine before starting school, atabout age 4 to 6.A shot of Td vaccine, which is the adult version, should be given about 5 yearslater at age 14 to 16. Additional booster shots are advised every 10 years after that for life.
Preparation & Expectations
What happens right after the procedure?
The parent should console the child after the shot, if needed. Abandaid may be placed over the shot site.
Home Care and Complications
What happens later at home?
The DPT vaccine may cause mild side effects. These includea slight fever,mild crankiness, and tenderness, swelling, and redness at the site of the shot.Acetaminophen can reduce fever and soreness, and can be given before theshot. A warm cloth over the shot site will help reduce soreness.
What are the potential complications after the procedure?
As with any medicine or vaccine, there is a slight chance ofserious complications. Death has occurred in very rare cases. DPTcauses complications in about 1 out of 1,750 immunizations. Theseinclude seizuresand feverabove 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Difficulty breathing or other signs ofallergy may also occur.
Article type: xmedgeneral