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August 25, 1894

CLEANLINESS THE CHIEF ANTISEPTIC.Read in the Section on State Medicine at the Forty-fifth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, held at San Francisco. June 5-8.1894.

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JAMA. 1894;XXIII(8):305-307. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02421130015001f

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In these days of bacteriologie investigations much time and study is necessarily devoted to the prevention of disease by destroying the bacilli that have entered the human body or preventing their entrance. The latter of these methods is to be preferred where it can be done, and it is the province of this paper to show that this may be accomplished much more thoroughly and satisfactorily by perfect cleanliness than by the use of so-called antiseptics. First, a few words regarding the physician and surgeon in whose practice cleanliness is an absolute necessity. This branch of my subject, although not precisely to be classed with State Medicine has nevertheless a bearing on it, and will form a suitable introduction to the main theme. Let us first speak of the surgeon and his work, in which the necessity of cleanliness is most apparent. If the surgeon will see that his hands,

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