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To the Editor:—
One of the problems concerning returned servicemen which should be brought to the attention of all civilian physicians is the administration of prophylactic doses of tetanus antitoxin.I recently saw a discharged veteran who suffered a minor laceration of the thumb in an industrial accident. A physician administered 1,500 units of tetanus antitoxin, which was followed in four days by a moderately severe local and systemic serum reaction, causing a loss of three days' working time in addition to that attributable to the original injury. This patient had seen overseas duty and had received the initial tetanus toxoid immunization and subsequent stimulating doses. At the time of his injury he should have been given 1 cc. of tetanus toxoid. The injection of tetanus antitoxin and the subsequent incapacitating reaction were entirely unnecessary. Tetanus toxoid causes little or no reaction.The record of tetanus toxoid immunization appears on
Freedman A. TETANUS IMMUNIZATION. JAMA. 1945;129(15):1045. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860490057021
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