Two-thirds of patients who present at accident and emergency with wounds have immunity to tetanus, according to a study by the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Writing online in the Emergency Medicine Journal, the authors suggest that testing all patients for immunity would be more cost-effective that giving unnecessary vaccinations.
They tested 200 patients presenting to A&E with wounds, finding that 68% tested positive for tetanus immunity and 32% negative.
The authors said: “Testing all 200 and treating appropriately would save £984, or £4.92 per patient, compared with vaccination based on recall.
“On clinical grounds testing is advisable and it may produce significant cost savings.”