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ARTICLE |

Loss of Medical Conscience In the Emergency Room

Preston J. Burnham, MD
JAMA. 1967;201(11):896. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130110122054.
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ABSTRACT

To the Editor:—  A haze distinguishes between a procedure that is done in the operating room and the same procedure that "we might as well do" in the emergency room. The aims are the same: to do the best for the patient, consistent with high medical standards, with the means available and with concern for the patient's economy and time.We can be extremists and take every patient with abrasion or gashed muscle to the operating room for absolute sterile precautions and cleanliness.Or, we can reasonably use essentially the same precautions and techniques and perform the procedure more quickly in the emergency room.Why, then, is it that many doctors lose their trained senses when they "do it in the emergency room," and suture and otherwise treat raw tissues with bare hands, bare faces, and bare heads?

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