JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer
Reiling, Assistant Editor.
Surgeon-General Suzuki of the Japanese Navy, in his address last week
before the Fourteenth Annual Association of Military Surgeons of the United
States told of two customs that were introduced into the Japanese navy during
the recent war, which were of extreme interest and likely to be far-reaching
in their influence, because they are simple and, as a rule, possible. It is
no wonder that a distinguished medical authority in the United States Navy
is reported to have said in comment that the Japanese surgeon-general had
made perhaps the most valuable contribution of modern times to naval surgery.
The suggestions that were carried into effect under his directions, however,
are so obvious that it is rather difficult to understand how they did not
occur to martial surgeons before this. Although the suddenness of the attack
would often prevent their use in land engagements, naval combatants usually
have sufficient warning of a battle to allow at least a brief preparation.
Dr. Suzuki considers that much of the Japanese success in the treatment of
wounds must be ascribed to the order issued before every engagement, that
each member of the crew should take a bath and put on perfectly clean underclothing.
ASEPSIS BEFORE BATTLE.. JAMA. 2005;294(5):632. doi:10.1001/jama.294.5.632