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August 5, 1961


JAMA. 1961;177(5):327. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040310045011

Theg for the hands in surgical and obstetrical practice is at least two centuries old. One of the earliest accounts (1758) describes an obstetrical glove fabricated from the caecum of a sheep and soaked in warm water to make it pliable before use. The covering was smeared with fat to prevent the back of the hand from clinging to the vaginal or uterine wall in the second stage of delivery. Gloves of leather, cotton, or silk were worn by the accoucheur or the surgeon usually to protect the operator, rather than the patient, from infection. The prosector in the morgue also was interested in one-way protection, either from pathogenic organisms or irritants that might cause dermatitis. At the meeting of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society, November 14, 1848, William Acton, Esq. reported "On the Advantages of Solutions of Caoutchouc and Gutta Percha in Protecting the Skin Against the Contagion

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