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February 1946


Author Affiliations

Professor of Surgery, Acting Head of Department, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Instructor in Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine With the technical assistance of LETITIA KIMSEY, M.A., Associate in Bacteriology LOUISVILLE, KY.
From the Department of Surgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine and the Louisville General Hospital, through aid of a grant from The Wm. S. Merrell Company, Cincinnati.

Arch Surg. 1946;52(2):149-159. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1946.01230050153003

THIS is a report of a study conducted on 575 patients in the surgical service of the Louisville General Hospital to determine the effectiveness of a relatively new germicide, cetylpyridinium chloride, as a cutaneous antiseptic. It was compared with other germicides used as cutaneous antiseptics in major surgical procedures for routine preoperative preparation. The germicides used for comparison were selected as to type of compound and represented a mercurial, a combined cresol and mercurial and a cationic detergent.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY  In conducting a study of the relative value of any chemical germicide to be used for cutaneous antisepsis immediately prior to operation, we recognized that the structure of the skin itself is such that its complete sterilization is impossible. The chief objective in preoperative preparation is actually a reduction in the number of pathogenic bacteria, or a quanitative and qualitative "degerming." Most of the published reports of studies

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