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August 15, 1959


JAMA. 1959;170(16):1931. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010160047014

The problem of who is responsible for sterilization of supplies and equipment in hospitals has been studied by the Working Party of the Medical Research Council of London, England.1 Their report is based on extensive and detailed investigations into existing arrangements for sterilization of surgical equipment in hospital wards, surgical units, sterile-supply departments, laboratories, and pharmacies in England.

Other recent publications2 point out the importance of good housekeeping in hospitals—the need of more intensive application of the standard concept in aseptic and antiseptic methods in order to control the incidence of staphylococcus infection.

The possibility that cross-infection can take place in autoclaves is recognized. The Working Party in England concluded that, while there were a number of underlying factors for faulty sterilizing procedures by heat, two important factors usually stood out, namely: 1. There was a lack of understanding of the technical requirements involved in sterilizing by autoclaves.