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February 1986

Multiple-Organ-Failure Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Seattle (Dr Carrico); the Departments of Surgery (Dr Meakins) and Microbiology (Dr Marshall), McGill University School of Medicine and The Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal; the Department of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University (Dr Fry) and the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center (Dr Fry), Cleveland; and the Department of Surgery, University of Washington, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle (Dr Maier).

Arch Surg. 1986;121(2):196-208. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1986.01400020082010


The panelists for the discussion were C. James Carrico, MD, from Seattle; Jonathan Meakins, MD, DSc, FRCSC, FACS, from Montreal; Donald Fry, MD, from Cleveland; and Ronald V. Maier, MD, from Seattle.

Dr Carrico: Multiple-organ-failure (MOF) syndrome is a process that occurs following 7% to 22% of emergency operations and between 30% and 50% of operations for intra-abdominal sepsis; MOF syndrome carries a mortality that varies from 30% to 100% depending on the number of organs involved. Treatment usually involves support of the organ (system) function and control of sepsis.1,2 In developing a clinical description, we can use a classic description of respiratory failure from the late 1960s as a model. Rather than a single organ we need to describe the function of several systems and follow the changes through a series of stages, beginning with the patient who has recently experienced one

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