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November 30, 1889


JAMA. 1889;XIII(22):781. doi:10.1001/jama.1889.02401180023006

There is a widespread and seemingly well grounded belief in the primarily local nature of diphtheria. If the belief be true, local treatment is demanded, and that at the earliest possible moment. And although the question of the local nature is one of great importance, the practitioner ought not to permit his own skepticism to master his method of treatment. Much of the danger inherent in the disease lies in the possible extension of the diphtheritic process into the lower respiratory passages. If, therefore, there is a method of topical treatment which will arrest the development of membrane and prevent its extension without doing injury to the patient, that remedy should be employed in every case. The doubt which exists in the minds of some practitioners as to the possibility of attaining this end, and the diversity of opinion among others as to how the end may be attained are,