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Suggested by your recent rèesumè and editorials upon the Etiology of Tetanus, I venture to recall two cases of the traumatic variety, which in the matter of treatment seem to have been in line at least with some of the more recent investigations and conclusions.
At the period of their occurrence, a quarter of a century ago, Gross and others regarded all treatment of the "obstinate disease" as empirical. Upon this subject he says, "there are, I presume, few surgeons who would be found to be so venturesome as to remove a limb on the approach of such a disease, and none would certainly be foolish enough (italics mine) to attempt the expedient after it is fully established."
It is true the bacterial origin of the malady had not then been determined, if suspected, but the writer believed that a poison or irritant connected with the wound was responsible for
FENN CM. TWO CASES OF TRAUMATIC TETANUS. JAMA. 1892;XVIII(3):76–77. doi:10.1001/jama.1892.02411070016001f
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