THE INCOMPLETELY solved problem, disinfection of the skin, remains a relatively weak link in the chain of surgical technic. Methods used to disinfect hands and fields of operation vary from hospital to hospital. Many surgeons and operating room supervisors have adopted routine procedures which one suspects are based more on tradition, chance recommendation or drug house salesmanship than on scientific evaluation.
Behind this diversity of practice lies a singular lack of agreement among those who write on the subject. Even investigators who approach the problem experimentally often reach divergent conclusions, largely because there are no generally accepted uniform methods for testing skin disinfectants.
The practice of surgery would be benefited, and its standards would be elevated, if order could be brought out of this chaos and if some council or commission would undertake a study of the problem and emerge with an unbiased, authoritative pronouncement regarding (1) acceptable standard methods
PRICE PB. PRESENT DAY METHODS OF DISINFECTING THE SKIN: Survey of Disinfectants and Technics Currently Employed in the Hospitals of the United States and Canada. Arch Surg. 1950;61(3):583–588. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1950.01250020588017
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