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Article
July 11, 1959

STAPHYLOCOCCIC WOUND INFECTIONS: STUDY OF WOUND INFECTIONS IN SEVERAL THOUSAND HERNIA CASES

Author Affiliations

Toronto, Canada

From Shouldice Surgery.

JAMA. 1959;170(11):1274-1283. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010110022005
Abstract

Extensive study of possible causes of wound sepsis revealed that the two most common were virulent staphylococci in nasal carriers among operating room team personnel and airborne pathogens in the operating room. If a surgeon finds he has an epidemic of infections, he should first of all consider himself as a possible source. A special mask patterned after the oxygen mask used by airmen is useful if the surgeon is found to be a source of infection. Ultraviolet light was found of value for air sterilization but not for skin sterilization. Studies showed that benzalkonium swabbing of the skin leaves much to be desired, but the patient's skin, in 182 cases observed, appeared to play only an insignificant role in wound sepsis under the given conditions. More efficient masking of the operating room personnel and general measures to insure maximum cleanliness are suggested as means for decreasing the frequency of surgical infections.

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