(2) Administration of serum. If the client is sensitive, the serum should not
be given until he is desensitized. This is a complicated and dangerous procedure
involving the injection of many small but increasingly larger doses of serum. It should
be done only by a medical officer.
NOTE: In the following paragraphs we discuss individual immunizing agents. However,
we do not discuss the dosage schedules for each, since they change frequently
and are readily available from other sources, including AR 40-562 and
information provided by the manufacturer.
a. Immune Serum Globulin (Human Gamma Globulin). This is a solution
containing antibodies derived from adult human plasma or serum. It is used for the
prevention and modification of measles, infectious hepatitis, and rubella. The usual
duration of protection following administration is about 4 weeks. No serious reactions
occur after the use of immune serum globulin.
b. Tetanus Immune Globulin. Used to provide passive immunity to tetanus,
tetanus immune globulin is a sterile solution of globulins from plasma of human donors
who have been immunized with tetanus toxoid. Tetanus immune globulin is sometimes
used for prophylaxis after injury and to treat tetanus of the newborn.
c. Polyvalent Crotaline Antivenin. This is a hyperimmune equine (horse)
serum containing antibodies against the venoms of all members of the family of snakes
called Crotalidae. Generally, the antivenin will neutralize the venoms of the rattlesnake,
copperhead, and water moccasin. It is not effective against the coral snake. The
manufacturer's directions must be followed closely with regard to test for
hypersensitivity, dosage, and route of administration.
a. Tetanus Toxoid. Tetanus toxoid is a solution of growth product of the
tetanus bacillus Clostridium tetani, so treated that it is no longer toxic, but still capable of
inducing active immunity. The precipitated and adsorbed forms are recommended
because their slower absorption produces a high degree of immunity. Severe reactions
after injection of adsorbed or precipitated forms are rare. However, a nodule of
insoluble suspension may remain at the site of injection for several weeks. Tetanus
toxoid is most often administered in a combined preparation containing diphtheria
toxoid. The primary medical approach to tetanus is immunization in childhood with
tetanus toxoid, followed by the proper boosters thereafter.
b. Adsorbed Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis Vaccine. This
product is used for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis with a
minimum number of injections. Protection lasts approximately 5 years. After injection