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June 10, 1905


JAMA. 1905;XLIV(23):1840-1841. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.92500500020001d

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Previous to the days of anesthetics and of aseptic surgery, operators strove to complete their work in the shortest time possible, and the results of skill in this direction were appreciated. Under the influence of modern methods of protection for the patient, there came a tendency to devote more time to detail in operative technic, and this sometimes degenerated into "puttering." It is quite as important for the patient to retain his natural resistance after operation as it is for the surgeon to add artificial means for securing asepsis during operation. Mr. Tait was the first prominent exponent of this principle, but the special reasons for his success were not understood in his day. We now know that infections are met by the cell resistance of the individual, and the better the general resistance of the patient, the better his special cell resistance. A patient usually retains a great fund of natural resistance during

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