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Ethicon Sutures Item#37800

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:25
by johan willaert
Came across a bunch of these and would like to find out what exactly they are and when made/issued (WW2? pre- or post WW2??)

All info appreciated,

Thanks,

Johan

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Re: Ethicon Sutures Item#37800

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 15:29
by Alain
Hi Johan,

Nice goodies !
The illustrated catgut sutures were used in Hospitals. They are absolutely WW2 vintage, as can be derived from the Item No. 37800. They belong to Class 3 Items - Surgical Appliances, Diagnostic Instruments, and Surgical Supplies. The unit cost in 1944 was US$ .15 / glass tube.

Thanks for sharing,
Best regards - Alain

Re: Ethicon Sutures Item#37800

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 16:36
by johan willaert
Thanks Alain!

Re: Ethicon Sutures Item#37800

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 07:42
by PAdoc
Johan,
To answer your question of exactly what are they. These are sutures for closing internal incisions and wounds, not on the surface of the body. They are catgut, which is actually strands of connective tissue from the small intestine of sheep, and they are chromic in that they are treated with chromic acid. This allows them to retain their strength for 2-3 weeks before being absorbed by body fluids. They do not need to be removed. Boilable means they can be included in surgical packs of instruments and towels and then autoclaved without being damaged. Some suture packaging is non-boilable. They are sterile and ready to use when the glass vial is broken. The fluid is a methyl alcohol derivitive. These do not have a needle attached.
This a very common size, and was used a lot in hospitals, but not as much in aid stations or clearing stations. Very period and authentic--a great find. By the way, Ethicon is still a major suture supplier and still makes 2-0 chromic gut. It is now packaged with a needle attached, and the package is a plastic pouch instead of a glass vial.
Dirk

Re: Ethicon Sutures Item#37800

Posted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 09:08
by johan willaert
Thank you very much for this elaborate answer...