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Human life so frequently depends upon the tying of a ligature, the use of one more suture, the perfection of an operation in every minute detail, that the subject of peritoneal drainage, which is, perhaps. the most vital of all questions connected with the always grave procedure of opening the peritoneum, should never become too trite to demand careful consideration, even though much has already been written on this subject, and every phase of the question thoroughly discussed.
Viewing my failures retrospectively, I am forced to the confession that no one feature of my work has given so much cause for regret as that of insufficient drainage.
It is idle to say that drainage is needed only when the work has been carelessly done. However perfect the technique may be, it is still a fact known to every operator, that there are cases whose recovery depends entirely on the drainage
WARD MB. GAUZE AS DRAINAGE IN ABDOMINAL AND PELVIC SURGERY.. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(4):199-202. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430820027003e