To the Editor: With the practical elimination of diphtheria, the role played by the O'Dwyer intubation tube has become a matter of medical memories. There is no longer the trained personnel to use it when it is indicated. Even during the period when it was so freely used, only the physician in charge of a "tube" ward had a chance to appraise its value. It saved many lives.
Before telling the story, it will be interesting to describe the set-up of our diphtheria wards, showing the conditions under which we worked. I am speaking of the period 1904-1906.
Our diphtheria pavilion consisted of two one-story wards, separated by a two-story central building that housed the physicians' and nurses' dining rooms and the kitchen on the first floor, and the nurses' quarters above. The two wards were joined by a central corridor. The tube ward was located at one end of