This bacteriologic investigation of contamination was occasioned by a recent change of solutions in the wash basins in the operating rooms of the New Haven Hospital. The weak bacteriostatic solution of iodine used previously was changed to sterile water in quantities of 1,000 cc. in each large shallow basin placed behind an operator, in which the operator washes off his gloves during the operative procedure. This change was made in the hope that discontinuance of the use of the iodine solution would decrease the dermatitis prevailing among the operating staff.
In a few cases a disinfectant, zephiran,1 was put in the basins in a concentration of 1: 5,000 in sterile water. This was done only when contamination of the basins during the operative procedure was most likely.
The technic employed throughout these investigations was as follows: At the close of the operation 1 cc. of fluid was removed