November 9, 1901


JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(19):1255-1256. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.02470450035012

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A considerable number of children in St. Louis have been infected with tetanus by the injection of anti-diphtheria serum. A number of deaths has occurred from tetanus in children treated with diphtheria antitoxin either for curative or prophylactic purposes. This antitoxin was manufactured by the city of St. Louis, and the statement is made that the horse which furnished the serum developed tetanus. It is also stated that a guineapig injected with the diphtheria antitoxin used in these cases promptly developed tetanus. Whatever truth there may be in these startling statements they certainly are calculated to strike a note of alarm and of regret that there should have happened anything that even remotely corresponds to the news reports. There is to be considered not only the sad fate of the children who possibly escaped diphtheria only to die of tetanus, but also the general effect which such lamentable mishaps are

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