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April 11, 1914


JAMA. 1914;LXII(15):1174-1175. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560400042022

The great value of antitetanus serum as a preventive is unquestioned. Indeed, Kocher says that failure to inject antitetanus serum as early as possible in all cases of wounds contaminated with street dirt would be culpable neglect. As a specific cure, however, this serum has fallen far short of the earliest expectations; it even has been asserted that so far the statistics and the evidence obtained from watching patients treated with serum do not indicate that it has any real curative value. It has been shown experimentally, however, that antitetanus serum may save animals already suffering from the symptoms of an otherwise fatal intoxication, but in order to accomplish this result the serum must be given in several hundred times the quantity required merely to protect, and it must be injected within a short time, from twenty-four to thirty-six hours, after the onset of the tetanus. Furthermore, it cannot be

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