Bellevue Hospital annually treats about 600 patients with erysipelas. Prior to 1937 the treatment of this disease was varied and not particularly effective. Erysipelas antitoxin, ultraviolet rays and local treatment of various kinds had all proved to be more or less ineffectual.
With the advent of sulfanilamide (prontylin and its related compound prontosil [the disodium salt of 4-sulfamidophenyl-2'-azo-7'-acetylamino-l'-hydroxynaphthalene-3,'6'disulfonic acid] ) new hope was held for controlling this disease. Enough has been said and written about these drugs to preclude any detailed discussion of their action here. Their effect on hemolytic streptococci and other bacteria is by now well known.
Beginning Jan. 1, 1937, all patients with erysipelas entering Bellevue Hospital were treated with sulfanilamide (prontylin and its derivative prontosil; prontylin in tablet form for oral use and prontosil for intramuscular injection). At first dosage was a problem, but in a short time a definite plan of treatment was formulated and has