To the editor:
Your story on the first use of penicillin bought back memories of another first use, an earlier one, that of the first sulfa drug, which I administered to patients when I was an intern at the New Haven Hospital during 1936-1937. The first sulfa drug was called Prontosil; it was a red liquid and was given by intravenous infusion. I cannot claim I was the first to use it, but it was the first sulfa drug and the first antibiotic that was available when I was on duty in the little isolation building next to the Fitkin pavilion.
I doubt if anyone remembers whether there was an effective treatment for infectious disease before the first antibiotic, but it was available.
Jerome Ritter M.D. ’36