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Related to diphtheria antitoxin: diphtheria toxoid
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Therapy: Diphtheria antitoxin is available only from the CDC and should be given, without waiting for laboratory confirmation, when nasopharyngeal or laryngotracheal symptoms appear.
Availability of diphtheria antitoxin through an Investigational New Drug protocol.
Neutralization potency of DAT obtained from human plasma should be assigned according to the Vero cell cytotoxicity assay and the guinea pig lethality model; the 1st International Standard for Diphtheria Antitoxin Human should be used as the reference antitoxin (National Institute for Biological Standards and Control code 10/262).
The patient continued to receive multiple antibiotics, including penicillin, vancomycin, and gentamicin; diphtheria antitoxin (DAT) was administered on the ninth day of illness.
In the United States, diphtheria antitoxin is available only through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and should be given as soon as possible after diagnosis of diphtheria or suspected diphtheria (2,18).
As of January 1997, diphtheria antitoxin is no longer commercially available in the United States but may be obtained for treatment of suspected cases of diphtheria through the medical epidemiology staff of CDC's Child Vaccine Preventable Disease Branch, Epidemiology and Surveillance Division, National Immunization Program, telephone (404) 639-2889 (6).
In addition to the potential for missed or late diagnoses, in areas where diphtheria is not endemic, diphtheria antitoxin treatment is not always available, which can have serious consequences.
Although diphtheria is a rare disease in the United States, access to diphtheria antitoxin (DAT) is essential to ensure effective treatment of a case.
Because the patient's condition was stable and no severe complications occurred during her hospital stay, she was not given diphtheria antitoxin.
Based on the history and physical findings, a preliminary diagnosis of acute membranous pharyngitis consistent with respiratory diphtheria was made, and 40,000 international units (IU) of equine diphtheria antitoxin was administered on the evening of October 27.

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