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October 6, 1888


JAMA. 1888;XI(14):490-491. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400660022006

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Acetic Acid as an Antiseptic in Obstetrics.  Dr. F. Engelman thinks that acetic acid is as much antiseptic as carbolic acid, and has the advantage of being non-injurious, even in a tolerably concentrated form. It has a decidedly styptic effect, which is an additional advantage in midwifery practice, and is very diffusible, penetrating the tissues to a much greater extent than most other antiseptics. Its action on instruments is less prejudicial than that of corrosive sublimate. A pair of forceps may be kept in a 3 per cent. solution of acetic acid for a quarter of an hour without being injured, but an irrigator is liable to injury from prolonged use of acetic acid solutions. After using acetic acid the hands must be washed twice, since soap will not dissolve in the presence of the acid. Engelman generally uses a 3 per cent. solution, though he has used a

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