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December 10, 1887


JAMA. 1887;IX(24):747-749. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400230011002d

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I have read Dr. Ellzey's article "Antiseptics in Medicine and Surgery," in The Journal, of Oct. 8, with more than usual interest, and it is in no spirit of hypercriticism that I object to certain inconsistencies. Truth being a correspondence between the order of ideas and the order of phenomena—a just equipoise, so to speak, of the internal and external, we can only test it by experience, and the measure of its worth must be its verification.

Dr. Ellzey has no faith in the surgical antisepsis that obtains largely in most surgical clinics, because the strength of the solutions employed is not germicidal, to be germicidal they would be dangerous to life. He uses, nevertheless, sponges, instruments and dressings which he claims are aseptic. Has he ever tested his armamentarium with sensitive plates, to see if all the parts thereof were sterile? Has he ever tested his hands and arms

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