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Aural surgeons must have witnessed the efficiency of gauze drainage in the ear following mastoid operations. The pus is constantly carried by the moist gauze packing in the external auditory meatus to the preferably wet gauze protective dressing. The solution with which this dressing is moistened should not be strongly antiseptic or irritating. Normal saline is excellent, although to encourage osmosis I sometimes employ a heavy sterile solution of magnesium sulphate. The packing in the auditory canal should be carried down to the tympanic membrane. There should not be any space left to serve as a reservoir for pus. This obliteration of space may be readily accomplished by placing over the outer end of the auditory canal a few folds of the end of a narrow 1 inch or 2 inch strip of gauze packing which has no loose threads on its margin, and then with a rough or screw-ended
STEVENSON MD. THE USE OF CYLINDRICAL GAUZE AND COTTON DRAINS IN DISCHARGING EARS. JAMA. 1911;LVI(4):262–263. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.02560040030012
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