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The ordinary method of sterilizing silk sutures is to put needles and silk in boiling water. Result, tangling of the different sutures and vexation in their separation. To overcome this, manufacturers have put before us reels of silk in bottles containing an antiseptic solution. The ends are brought out through rubber corks. They are thus always kept sterilized. The needle is supposed to be threaded by this sterilized silk, but it would be hazardous to use it in living tissues unless both are sterilized after threading. This puts us where we usually begin, and the result is, to be safe, we must again sterilize the silk.
The accompanying photograph explains a method of caring for sutures; this I have used for two years. It is impossible for them to tangle. The needles are threaded and wound on an ordinary card, which is nicked the better to receive and hold the
GEORGE F. KEIPER. A SUGGESTION AS TO THE CARE OF SILK SUTURES DURING OPERATIONS.. JAMA. 1894;XXII(9):308–309. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420880024001f