The fallacies of statistics are often only too obvious. Ignorance and prejudice therefore gibe at scientific advances the efficacy of which must necessarily be proven by figures. No advance in practice within recent years has been subjected to a more severe test in this regard than has the antitoxin treatment for diphtheria.
Strenuous objection is made, and with some degree of reason, to the exclusion from the mortality rate of some tables of cases to which the treatment had been administered as a last resort, when the patient was practically moribund. It is only fair that this objection should be considered, but it is also fair that it should be offset by the fact that very many practitioners who believe in and practice the use of the antitoxic serum reserve it only for those patients in whom the clinic aspects become well marked, while they refuse to administer it to
MUNN WP. THE DECREASE IN MORTALITY OF DIPHTHERIA SINCE THE INTRODUCTION OF TREATMENT WITH ANTITOXIC SERUM. JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(25):1522–1524. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450770008002c
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