It is National Immunization Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is highlighting a series of opinion pieces,Medicine Before Vaccines, written by senior pediatricians, to serve as a reminder what medicine was like before routine immunizations.
In this piece, written by William R. Purcell, MD, a retired pediatrician who practiced for 36 years, discusses the complications related to dipththeria and measles during his pediatric training time.
He notes that he helped in the care of seven children who died from measles during his pediatric training, noting that all physicians could do at that time was do "symptomatic and supportive" care at that time.
"It is wonderful that younger pediatricians rarely see these problems anymore because of immunizations," Purcell notes in his editorial. "Some of the pediatricians in the practice that I started have never seen a case of measles."
This piece serves as a good reminder to physicians why counseling about vaccines is so important. Please read the piece in it's entirety below, and weigh in on the discussion by emailing your thoughts to Infectious Disease Advisor's digital content editor, Colleen Hall, at [email protected]
As a practicing pediatrician for 36 years, I often worked with patients suffering with diseases that have since been widely prevented by immunizations. During my internship in 1956, we still had patients in iron lungs because of paralysis from polio.