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Article
October 7, 1893

LAWS OF GROWTH OF BACTERIA APPLIED TO ASEPTIC SURGERY.Read before the Section of Military Surgery, Pan-American Medical Congress, September 7, 1893.

Author Affiliations

PROFESSOR OF PHYSIOLOGY AND CLINICAL SURGERY, MEDICAL DEPARTMENT HOWARD UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON, D. C.

JAMA. 1893;XXI(15):535-537. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420670025001f

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Abstract

It has been well said by a great operator that every surgical operation is a study in bacteriology. There will be found, we believe, at the present day very few surgeons who will gainsay the above statement, and yet it may be worth our while to examine the question whether our surgery, as practically carried out, is in perfect accordance with the laws of bacterial growth which are the underlying basis upon which aseptic surgery has been built. To return to elementary principles: let us inquire what are the three essential conditions favoring the growth of bacteria and other microörganisms? The answer, of course, that would be given by every tyro in surgery would be the well worn statement: heat, moisture and atmospheric air. In other words, the very same conditions which favor the growth of bacteria are precisely the same conditions that are essential to the growth and repair

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