I found myself in the hospital library. I thumbed through the books and stopped at A Catalogue of Bacterial and Infectious Diseases and read aloud from my favourite passage:
–the diagnosis was confirmed by my good friend and colleague, Dr. Lorraine Watt. The umbilical cord was cut with ordinary scissors from the house, rooted out of a drawer. The baby was wrapped in an old strip of linen, whose origins are ominous (the mother does not know where it came from) but which you can be sure was not charred. Knowing what the neighbours assisting in these sorts of births understand of sepsis, and having seen much of the associated conditions myself, it is a wonder that tetanus has not become a phenomenon more universally known.