February 1988

Does Infection Control Control Infection?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Dr Condon); the Division of Epidemiology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Dallas (Dr Haley); the Surgical Service, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Minneapolis (Dr Lee); and the Department of Surgery, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal (Dr Meakins).

Arch Surg. 1988;123(2):250-256. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400260138019

The moderator for this discussion was Robert E. Condon, MD, from Milwaukee, and the panelists were Robert W. Haley, MD, from Dallas; James T. Lee, Jr, MD, PhD, from Minneapolis; and Jonathan L. Meakins, MD, from Montreal.

Dr Condon: The issue is whether present methods of hospital epidemiology really have an impact on surgical wound infections and other surgically related infections. Inother words, do our present methods of "infection control" work effectively in controlling surgical infections, in deriving reliable data, and in informing the surgical staff? I think the answers to these questions are largely negative.

The panelists are a distinguished group, an epidemiologist and two surgeons with special interest and expertise in this arena. The first panelist is Robert W. Haley, MD, associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He formerly was director of the Hospital Infection Program of the

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