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William H. Prioleau, M.D.
JAMA. 1953;152(5):477. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.03690050101032.
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To the Editor:  —In visiting hospitals in different parts of the country one is struck by the number of surgeons who fail to take reasonable precautions against hair and dandruff falling into the operative field. This has been noticed in pictures of operations. A common practice is to turn up the bottom edge of the cap in a neat fashion, leaving uncovered the occipital region, from which loose hair, dust, and dandruff may fall into the operative field when the surgeon leans over the table. Such wound contamination can result in infection. Wound infections of unexplained origin still occur, though the incidence is less than formerly probably because of the general use of antibiotics. In marked contrast to the careless attitude of these surgeons is that of nurses, whose hair is generally adequately covered, often with a hood. On the other hand, anesthetists not infrequently are offenders, either through thoughtlessness


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