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December 1938


Author Affiliations

Bacteriologist to the State Department of Public Health CHICAGO
From the Department of Bacteriology and Public Health, the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Arch Surg. 1938;37(6):1008-1016. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1938.01200060145011

There is ample evidence in recent surgical literature to show that surgeons are not satisfied with the present methods of face masking. Walker1 in 1930 outlined what he considered the requirements of an ideal mask and hastened to state that he had not yet found it. Waters2 in 1936 pointed out that improper surgical masking has constituted a persistently weak link in the chain of aseptic operative technic. Walker in 1935 presented bacteriologic evidence as to the source of hemolytic streptococci in four epidemics in hospitals, three in surgical services and one in an obstetric service. Cultures of material taken from hands, instruments, solutions and sterile goods at the time of these epidemics failed to show hemolytic streptococci. The masks were found to be ineffective and half of the operating room personnel were found to be carriers of hemolytic streptococci. Meleney3 in 1935 studied the bacterial flora