Tetanus continues to be a serious disease in spite of the availability of practical methods for its prevention and the use of improved serums and drugs in its treatment. In 1942 there were recorded 698 deaths in the United States from this disease,1 and probably the number of cases was two to three times this figure.
Statistical studies dealing with large numbers of cases2 have not been particularly useful in evaluating the results produced by any given program of treatment. The need for better methods to evaluate the results from the treatment of tetanus has become more urgent than ever because of the advent of purified antitoxins, recently developed anticonvulsant drugs and new chemotherapeutic agents.
Since the outcome of tetanus, either treated or untreated, depends in large measure on the severity of the disease, one must consider this factor in the evaluation of treatment. From an analysis of
PRATT EL. CLINICAL TETANUS: A STUDY OF FIFTY-SIX CASES, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO METHODS OF PREVENTION AND A PLAN FOR EVALUATING TREATMENT. JAMA. 1945;129(18):1243–1247. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860520011003
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