We have all heard the remark, and perhaps made it ourselves: "If we had the case in a hospital we would have operated, but could do nothing under the existing circumstances." The marvelously rapid improvement in hospitals and hospital equipments has made it possible to do a class of surgery that would be all but impossible in private houses, especially in those of the poor with small and perhaps dirty rooms. But, if we accept the responsibility of the care of the poor at all, it is our duty to do the very best for them that circumstances permit.
Schiemelbusch and many others have shown that wound infection is caused by direct contact, and that we have little to fear from the air, unless large quantities of dust are flying. If, then, we carry with us, as we can, in a not very large satchel, previously-sterilized towels, sponge, pads, dressings,
DUGAN RC. EMERGENCY SURGERY, WITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO WORK IN HOMES OF THE POOR. JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(15):895–896. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.92450670016002e
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