Medicine: Mask for Surgeons

The gauze mask worn by generations of doctors and nurses slows down the spray of germs from their breathing, but eventually lets a dangerous proportion get through. Last week two Minneapolis surgeons described a radically new mask that allows only a small fraction of the germ spread and should markedly reduce the number of infections in surgical wounds.

Designed by Surgeons Claude R. Hitchcock and Joseph Kiser of Minneapolis General Hospital, the mask is made of flexible polyvinyl plastic. Inside it is a disposable filter of cotton and cellulose. In this trap the surgeon's...

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