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February 4, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVI(5):352. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560050038018

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The duty of the medical profession in the matter of Fourth-of-July tetanus is distinctly threefold. First, it has an important function in securing legislation which shall prevent injuries from explosives; secondly, it must prevent tetanus and other serious complications resulting from such injuries; last, it has the almost hopeless task of trying to prevent a fatal outcome in those cases of tetanus which have been produced by Fourth-of-July injuries. Certainly the most logical point of attack is the celebration itself. That this foolish habit of an annual orgy of gunpowder and bloodshed is not one which cannot be broken has been shown in a number of communities. Last year, the city of Trenton, N. J., which previously had suffered severely in proportion to its population, adopted a prohibitive ordinance, suppressed the gunpowder celebration, and totally eliminated Fourth-of-July injuries; the previous year there had been fifty-nine injuries reported, with one death.

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