A33: Tetanus neonatorum

You have been infected with tetanus.

Tetanus is also known as lockjaw. It is caused by tetanus bacteria. These bacteria can survive for a very long time outside the body. Tetanus bacteria can be found in the ground, for example. A person gets infected if the tetanus bacteria get into a wound.

A newborn child can get infected via the navel, for example.

In the wound the tetanus bacteria release a powerful neurotoxin. This neurotoxin causes the muscles to go into long-term spasm. Normal movement may then become impossible. The newborn child is unable to drink properly when breast-feeding. The condition may progress to the point where the person is no longer able to breath, and suffocates. Light or noise may trigger seizures.

It may also be that only specific parts of your body are affected.

Additional indicator

On medical documents, the ICD code is often appended by letters that indicate the diagnostic certainty or the affected side of the body.

  • G: Confirmed diagnosis
  • V: Tentative diagnosis
  • Z: Condition after
  • A: Excluded diagnosis
  • L: Left
  • R: Right
  • B: Both sides

Further information


This information is not intended for self-diagnosis and does not replace professional medical advice from a doctor. If you find an ICD code on a personal medical document, please also note the additional indicator used for diagnostic confidence.
Your doctor will assist you with any health-related questions and explain the ICD diagnosis code to you in a direct consultation if necessary.


Provided by the non-profit organization “Was hab’ ich?” gemeinnützige GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health (BMG).