Surgical technic has from the first suffered the lack of a quantitative test for degree of disinfection of the skin. It has been impossible to determine the precise effect of any hand disinfectant or stronger cutaneous germicide because the size of the bacterial flora could not be measured either before or after employment of the agent. In consequence there is a tremendous literature on the subject but little unanimity of opinion or uniformity in practice.
A NEW QUANTITATIVE METHOD OF STUDYING THE BACTERIA OF THE SKIN
If a large number of basins of sterile water are prepared and the hands and forearms are scrubbed with soap and brush in a standard manner for exactly one minute in each basin, one after another, the washings will be found to contain a slowly diminishing number of bacteria. The cumulative totals plotted against time produce a curve. This is found to be a
PRICE PB. NEW STUDIES IN SURGICAL BACTERIOLOGY AND SURGICAL TECHNIC: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO DISINFECTION OF THE SKIN. JAMA. 1938;111(22):1993–1996. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790480023005
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