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July 2, 1904

The Prophylaxis of Tetanus.

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(1):42. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500010048016

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Bridgeton, N. J., June 18, 1904.

To the Editor:  —An article in The Journal, June 18, regarding the prophylaxis of tetanus leads me to suggest a method of cleansing all punctured wounds by nails and splinters, as well as those caused by Fourth of July foolish exuberance. For years I have used hydrogen dioxid solutions diluted with sterile water made alkaline by sodium bicarbonate, or have used them alternately. As the tetanus bacillus is anaërobic, theoretically the oxygen given off would be deterent; secondly, I have found that if used freely all foreign matter will be removed, usually without curetting, although this may be done if necessary. Caustics are unnecessary, often harmful. A more sensible packing would be loose gauze, with glycerin to promote exosmosis and drainage. The wound should be cleansed with hydrogen dioxid several times daily.

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