September 5, 1914


Author Affiliations

Chief Resident Physician to the Philadelphia Hospital for Contagious Diseases, Department of Public Health PHILADELPHIA

JAMA. 1914;LXIII(10):861-863. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570100047013

Conclusions as to the use of any remedy in a disease must be based, in the final analysis, on practical experience. Theory may aid us in finding the remedy and may guide us in its use, but our final judgment must be based on results alone.

Diphtheria antitoxin has been abundantly proved to be a specific for diphtheria, and a cure when used in correct doses at the proper time. With an agent at our service, known for such a length of time, of such acknowledged usefulness, and of such direct and specific action, it is surprising that there should exist even that small percentage of failures which we must constantly face. It is true that the circumstances of general practice and the possibilities of error in diagnosis offer limitations to the immediate and proper use of the serum which make the attainment of ideal results out of the question.

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