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February 19, 1910

Human Hair Used for Sutures Long Ago

Author Affiliations

St. Louis.

JAMA. 1910;LIV(8):631. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550340053013

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To the Editor:  —I have been much interested in reading the article by Drs. Guthrie on the "Suture of Blood Vessels with Human Hair," in The Journal, Jan. 29, 1910. I have had no experience with suture of blood vessels, but as a suture material for places requiring very delicate threads, especially the face, mucous membrane of the lips, and the conjunctiva, I have used human hair repeatedly—probably a hundred times or more from 1880, when I first began practice, onward, and always with excellent results; though not much sterilizing of sutures was done in the early days. Wounds so sutured did not suppurate, and the resulting scar was reduced to a minimum. The hair was just plucked as wanted from the head of any woman convenient, passed through a weak phenol solution, or more frequently not even that, and used at once. I never saw a bad result. I

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