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May 13, 1950


Author Affiliations

Grand Rapids, Mich.

From the Department of Surgery, St. Mary's Hospital, Grand Rapids. Dr. Van Duine is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

JAMA. 1950;143(2):175-176. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.82910370002008a

It is fortunate that tetanus is a rare complication of elective surgical procedures. However, when it does occur the result tends to be disastrous, and the problem of the management of the capricious disease may suddenly become extremely important to the surgeon who is obliged to continue on the case as the responsible medical attendant. The following case report presents an experience with fulminating infection with Clostridium tetani occurring after a pelvic operation.

REPORT OF CASE  B. V. K., a white woman aged 42, was first admitted to the hospital on May 28, 1948 with colic-like abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Her last menstrual period had begun normally thirty days before, but she had been bleeding intermittently since. Chills and fever had been present for one week. Though married for twenty years, she had never been pregnant. The chief finding on physical examination was a large cystic tumor mass filling