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July 15, 1961

A New Surgical DrainUsed in 54 Surgical Cases Without Producing any Undesirable Effects

Author Affiliations

Baltimore; Washington, D.C.

Former Chief Surgical Resident (Dr. Flax) and present Chief of Surgery (Dr. Gould), Washington Hospital Center.

JAMA. 1961;177(2):150-151. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.73040280017016a
Abstract

SURGICAL DRAINS have passed through many modifications and improvements since the days of Hippocrates when they were first introduced in the treatment of empyema. In 1890, Charles Bingham Penrose introduced the now famous Penrose drain. Through the years, certain basic principles of drain management have been formulated, but need for continual improvement in drain management remains with us. We accept surgical instruments and supplies as standard items, giving little thought to the possibility of improvement and the manner in which improvement might be accomplished. The various types of drains in use today do not provide adequate security against loss. A drain may disappear into a wound or be broken off during removal. For the surgeon, there persists that perplexing postoperative question: Where is the drain? An error in judgment may result in the leaving of a drain within a surgical wound. The surgeon's prime concern is to be sure

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