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September 13, 1890


JAMA. 1890;XV(11):399-400. doi:10.1001/jama.1890.02410370023003

The impunity with which the peritoneum is subjected to operative interference depends not so much upon antiseptic methods as upon the germicidal action of the peritoneum itself. This action has been shown by Rinne1 to be sufficient to remove, every few days, a few cubic centimetres of injected pus. The experience of operators also leads them to place the greatest reliance on the uninjured peritoneum to remove small amounts of infective material. Although the investigations of Knecht2 show that the healthy pleuræ of animals absorb with ease small amounts of pure cultures of pyogenic bacteria, the germicidal action of these surfaces is noticeably less than that of the peritoneum. The pericardium and the serous surfaces of the meninges offer almost no resistance at all to infection. This phenomenon the writer holds is due to an immunity acquired by the peritoneum through its proximity to infective material within the

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