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January 16, 1932


JAMA. 1932;98(3):250. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02730290066029

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To the Editor:  —Numerous patients who have undergone operations under local and spinal anesthesia have commented after the operation, on the conversation between the surgeons discussing details of the procedure, in many instances causing mental anguish and alarm to the patient.I have been in the habit of packing the external auditory canal with absorbent cotton dipped in liquid petrolatum, thereby blocking sounds to the internal ear. Any other method that will effectively block the canal will be satisfactory. It prevents the patient from hearing conversations between the surgeon and the nurses, and the movements of instruments against the tissue and bone, the result being that the relaxation is complete both mentally and physically, which is greatly to be desired both for the patient and for the surgeon.

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