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September 1981

Permeability of Vulcanized Patches

Arch Surg. 1981;116(9):1239. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1981.01380210101023

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To the Editor.—In the February 1981 issue of the Archives, I was the author of an article entitled "Aseptic Barriers in Surgery: Their Present Status" (1981;116:240-244). In this article, I made the statement that vulcanized patches were not acceptable because they are impenetrable to steam. This has been called to my attention as an error.

Quite a few years ago, I tested the patching material and found it to be a barrier to steam. I have, therefore, tested it again and found that my assumption is now incorrect. The patching material is permeable to both steam and ethylene oxide.

The tests were carried out very simply. A piece of wide patching material was folded back on tests and the sides were sealed by heat treatment to form a pocket. Into this pocket spore strips and an integrator were placed. The end was then sealed. A small piece of wood

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