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March 18, 1939


JAMA. 1939;112(11):1072-1073. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800110052013

Modern atraumatic aseptic technic in the operating room has almost eliminated infection of wounds in clean cases. However, the introduction of major surgical procedures involving exposure of large raw areas for a long time has again raised the problem of occasional infection. Recently Hart1 of the Duke University School of Medicine has reported studies during the past five years of efforts to eliminate the occasional sporadic operating room infection. After carefully checking all possible sources of infection, Hart concludes that the least controlled source of infection was air-borne bacteria. Most of the infections were caused by Staphylococcus aureus-haemolyticus. The organisms entered the wound from the air rather than from the skin of the patient. The air was contaminated by the operating room personnel and patients. All supplies and all procedures in the operating room technic were checked by the culture method and were found to be satisfactory except for