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April 17, 1926


JAMA. 1926;86(16):1189-1190. doi:10.1001/jama.1926.02670420013002

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With the foregoing title in mind, I have stood on the edge of this short literary outburst for several years; years that have only emphasized the more the importance of this subject. Twenty years ago in the early moments of our fierce scientific surgical ardor, such a title would have seemed rather too effeminate to adorn a serious surgical essay. Today the situation is somewhat different, for the avoidance of trauma has come to have a new significance to the thoughtful student of contemporaneous surgery.

Back in days much earlier, when hospitals and surgical workshops were germ-ridden with organisms of exalted virulence, a surgical operation, with trauma or without trauma, was more likely than not to be followed by grave septic complications, and a fatal issue was a common conclusion. Then came the era that gave us antisepsis. Then asepsis itself came, with its marvelous results, as compared with the

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