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April 14, 1923

SKIN PREPARATION IN HYPODERMIC NEEDLE PUNCTURES: GAS BACILLUS INFECTION WITHIN TWELVE HOURS AT SITE OF HYPODERMIC PUNCTURE

JAMA. 1923;80(15):1066-1067. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02640420028012

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Abstract

The use of the hypodermic syringe is not altogether free from danger, even though administered under the most careful aseptic conditions. It has long been known that the skin is a common carrier of pathogenic organisms, but the universal use of the hypodermic syringe is so common, and unfavorable results so rare, even when carelessly used by the layman, that it would seem quite impossible for a tragedy, such as is here recorded, to have occurred when the most strict aseptic conditions were present.

Alcohol for commercial use, and even for hospital administration, is not what it was before the Volstead Act. It is quite probable that it should not now be depended on as an antiseptic as it formerly was when made by the old process in regular distilleries, since much of the alcohol now being purchased is a by-product in the manufacture of "near beer," the alcohol being

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