The eminent scientists who lead the van of progress, or at least a van of some sort, have now arrived at “human serum” How they obtain it we do not know, and must confess equal ignorance as to the results. For instance: “The results obtained by Davis show that while the serum of normal human beings may contain certain meningococcidal substances as well as opsoins for meningococci, both these specific properties are markedly increased in the course of meningitis.” Davis tried it Whatever it may be on two patients, one died and the other didn’t, “and the only deduction permissible would seem to be that the serum in no way did harm,” which fact is something in its favor. McKenzie and Martin used serum from patients who had recovered from cerebro-spinala fever, on fourteen cases, of whom “eight died and six got well.”
We are digging this out of the pages of the journal A.M.A., September 26th, and the writer after this states:
“The authors,” i. e., McKenzie and Martin, “state that the patients thus treated were unselected and cite figures showing that the recovery rate presented by the patients injected with human serum is much greater than that presented by other cases in the same hospital but not treated with serum fifty such cases giving only four recoveries.”
Here is another clipping from the same paper:
“Antimeningococcus serum owes its properties to several distinct bodies, of which the most important probably is the antiendotoxin. The great toxic action of the meningococcus is well shown in the experiment by Davis in which he obtained a prompt and profound reaction in twenty minutes by injection dead meningococci into a normal person; a profound intoxication resulted with violent headache, some delirium, vomiting and later herpes and severe acute nephritis developed, but there were no special meningeal symptoms.” All this is presumably up-to-date medical science of the serum brand.
In hans Christian anderson’s fairy tales for children we read of a king, his courtiers and loyal subjects to whom a very learned scientist once appeared, at the court, and displayed a bolt of wonderful and magnificent cloth. The king, presumably, after viewing his courtiers out of the tail of his eye, greatly admired the wonderful cloth, as did all the others, and ordered robes for himself to be made from it. When the robes were completed the king arrayed himself in them and accompanied by his court paraded the streets. Solid and conservative citizens who had heard of the new robes from the wonderful cloth, together with the court, greatly admired the robes until a little child exclaimed, “Why, manna, the king’s naked.”
How the king, his courtiers and the solid, conservative citizens explained the episode is something that further investigation will be required to ascertain. Probably the court journals wrote up the robes quite fully until the king wore them and afterwards “advanced” to other topics.