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December 1, 1951

CLINICAL BASES FOR SELECTION OF PATIENTS FOR ANTIMICROBIAL THERAPY

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia

JAMA. 1951;147(14):1340-1342. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.03670310030011
Abstract

One of the more important questions of the moment is whether specific antimicrobial agents should be prescribed for the patient ill with an infectious disease. The decision is complicated by a number of factors, not the least of which is the attitude of the patient or of his family. The average patient expects, and not infrequently demands, such treatment with no consideration of whether the causative agent of his particular infection is susceptible to any of the available therapeutic agents. Many physicians are currently choosing the easier course of prescribing supposedly specific therapy for practically all infections. Only when the disease is not terminated by the therapy or spontaneously in spite of it, is serious consideration given to more accurate diagnostic measures and in turn to truly specific therapy, if such is available. There are arguments to support such indiscriminate therapy, but in the opinion of most critical physicians the

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