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To the Editor:
I have received several inquiries about the sterility of the cryogens used in the cryoextractors described in "Indications and Technique of Cryoextraction" (Arch Ophthal, April 1965).When the cryogens employed with my instruments (solid carbon dioxide and liquid nitrogen) are used in the manner described, there is an excellent assurance of asepsis because:
Repeated commercial and hospital bacteriological tests of the cryogens have been consistently negative for bacteria, fungi, molds, and spores.
I have performed more than 200 operations using solid CO2 and liquid N2 without a single incidence of infection. The number of these instruments that have been sold is now well over 200, and there has not been any report of infections following their use.
Admittedly, extreme cold does not kill all infectious agents, for some bacteria, molds, and spores resist even extremely low temperatures. However, in the process of manufacture, the cryogens are purified
Bellows JG. STERILITY AND CRYOSURGERY. Arch Ophthalmol. 1965;74(2):290–291. doi:10.1001/archopht.1965.00970040292038
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