9 months ago
Last edited at 11:01AM on 3/16/2013
Wash the wound. It is highly unlikely that the bacteria that causes tetanus is on that rusty nail, as Clostridium Tetani is usually found in farm animal fecal matter. A lot of rusty nails could be found around the farm back when their were a lot more farms around. Getting a tetanus shot is a lot better than getting lockjaw though... so you may want to get it one if you havent had one in about 5 years or so. Dont need to use the ER for this though... today is Saturday and there are plenty of walk in clinics that would have you in and out pretty quickly.
As a general rule, you get a tetanus shot when you have a puncture wound from a rusty nail. A cut/scrape from one... eh, I'd clean it well with peroxide, & if you haven't had a tetanus shot in more than 5 yrs., you might want to get one just to be safe... plus, it'll protect you from developing tetanus the next time you're wounded by rusty metal. :)