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March 8, 1952


Author Affiliations

Boston; Washington, D. C.
Surgeon, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School (Dr. Walter); Research Fellow in Medicine, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital (Dr. Murphy); and Technical Assistant to the Medical Director, National Blood Program, American Red Cross (Mr. Comploier).

JAMA. 1952;148(10):845-846. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.62930100003014b

Among the epidemiological factors in the transmission of homologous serum jaundice, the spread via cannulated needles used for obtaining blood samples and tattooing needles has been substantiated.1 The possibility of needle transmission of poliomyelitis has been emphasized.2 Sterilization in saturated steam at 121 C or dry heat at 160 C is essential, because chemical disinfection is inadequate against the virus concerned.

Safe acupuncture of the individual patient presents problems in packaging, sterilizing, and dispensing lancets. Accidental pricking of the fingers of technicians and supply room workers must be guarded against. In hospital and clinic practice and blood donor evaluation, so many lancets are used that maintenance of sharpness, the provision for automatic cleaning, and prevention of loss are major considerations. A technique is presented that accomplishes these ends.

The lancets (fig. 1) are made of a piece of cutlery stainless steel embedded in a waterproof nylon handle. The

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