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August 1967

Serum Therapy in Neonatal Tetanus

Author Affiliations

Bombay, India
From the Tetanus Ward, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Bombay.

Am J Dis Child. 1967;114(2):131-134. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1967.02090230061003

NEONATAL TETANUS is a highly lethal disease. A very high fatality rate varying from 71.2% to 91% has been reported by various workers.1-11 Administration of antitetanic serum (ATS) has been one of the mainstays of treatment. But, the attempts of early workers to reduce the mortality by increasing the dose of ATS12-18 have not been successful. Indeed, the value of high doses of ATS has been doubted by some workers.19,20 Bryant and Fairman19 even suggested that ATS was not at all necessary for the treatment of tetanus and could be dispensed with entirely. Others who were more conservative held the opinion that usual doses of ATS could be substantially reduced without any detrimental effect.9,21-26

As long ago as 1930, Hines27 stated that ATS had not proved to be of great value and suggested that a dosage of 10,000 to 20,000 units should be adequate

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