June 19, 1954


JAMA. 1954;155(8):773. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.03690260065024

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Death from BCG Debated in Parliament.  —At a meeting of the Medical Society of Bergen (Nordisk medicin, April 8, 1954), details were given of the death of a 24-year-old man after BCG vaccination. His sedimentation rate had been abnormally high since childhood, but no reason for this had ever been discovered. In June, 1948, he was vaccinated with BCG according to Birkhaug's technique. A standard vaccine prepared by the Norwegian BCG Laboratory was used. He became tuberculin-positive after six weeks. A year later an abscess developed in the right axilla. This was incised and drained, but a sinus persisted. In November, 1950, an abscess starting from caries of a rib yielded bacilli of the BCG type. Several abscesses and sinuses subsequently developed in the chest and abdominal walls, and in 1951 serous meningitis developed. In September, 1951, the man was admitted to the hospital. Tuberculous foci developed in the kidneys,

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