On this date in 1985, H. Harlan Stone, M.D., devised a unique method for keeping patients in stitches. He used zippers instead of stitches on 28 patients who had undergone surgery for pancreatic swelling. Such patients normally have the incision opened repeatedly so that gauze can be replaced. Stone came up with the idea at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and used it successfully. The zippers lasted between five and 14 days and were then replaced with permanent stitches.
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