Infection of wounds during operation may always be traced to contact with materials, and is probably rarely if ever due to contamination from the atmosphere (Dr. P. L. Friedrich, Arch. für Klin. Chir., B. 59.). The common sources of infection of operation wounds are as follows: 1. Instruments. 2. Sponges and dressings. 3. The hands of the operator or assistants. 4. The skin of the patient. 5. Towels, sheets, etc., used about the wound.
The exhaustive researches of Fürbinger, Ahlfeld, Koch and others emphasize the difficulty of rendering the hands aseptic, for after a short period of exposure they again become septic from their own secretions, as has been shown by cultures made for the inner surface of rubber gloves. We have been able to overcome this difficulty by the use of such gloves.
The sterilization of the skin surface in the field of operation is practically as difficult and