The serious nature of diphtheria as a complication following tonsillectomy is due to the fact that the disease is likely to be overlooked until it is almost too late for antitoxin administration. Most of the mischief that can possibly result from the absorption of the toxin will probably already have taken place before the operator suddenly realizes that he has a fatal diphtheritic intoxication to deal with. The postoperative sloughing membrane following the removal of the tonsils closely resembles a diphtheritic pseudomembrane, and is, therefore, a source of great danger in overlooking the superimposed secondary diphtheria. The purpose of this paper is to emphasize this danger, to indicate the necessity of taking nose and throat cultures before operations on these structures, and to protect positive diphtheria carriers by a prophylactic dose of antitoxin. This precaution, of course, would not be necessary if the patient to be operated on had been
ZINGHER A. DIPHTHERIA FOLLOWING TONSILLECTOMY: LOCAL RESISTANCE AND GENERAL IMMUNITY TO DIPHTHERIA. Am J Dis Child. 1926;31(1):72–76. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1926.04130010079010
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