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November 1970


Author Affiliations

Kungsgatan 1 320 45 Halmstad Sweden

Arch Otolaryngol. 1970;92(5):522-523. doi:10.1001/archotol.1970.04310050104020

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To the Editor.  —In my opinion, a clinical evaluation of the use and misuse of antibiotics in otorhinolaryngology is long overdue. The introduction of antibiotics led to a reduction of fatal disease complications, especially intracranial infections, and enabled us to develop and safely perform various operations, such as those concerned with protracted middle ear suppurations and otosclerosis. In the past, Sir Victor Fleming warned, however, against the indiscriminate use of antibiotics, especially in patients with infection of the upper air passages. For example, the most frequent upper respiratory infection, the common cold, is caused by a virus and, as he pointed out, is not influenced by any antibacterial agent. Consequently, otorhinolaryngologists already long ago should have established definite indications for antibiotic usage that are based on reliable clinical investigations.It may be asked, "What do we really know about the indications for antibiotic treatment in uncomplicated diseases in our special

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