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June 6, 1959


Author Affiliations

U. S. N.

From the U. S. Naval Hospital, Great Lakes, Ill.

JAMA. 1959;170(6):638-643. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010060006002

The assumption that staphylococci have gained in importance among the causes of pneumonia is questioned. The comparison here made between statistics published before 1932 and the data assembled by the authors from 1,177 cases of acute pneumonia indicate a decline. But when staphylococcic pneumonia does occur it develops rapidly, the patient is liable to show sudden intensification of dyspnea and cyanosis, and serious complications are likely. Diagnosis depends on the bacteriologist, and treatment consists primarily of using the proper antibiotic. The disk-sensitivity method for determining the antibiotic has been practical and useful. Among the antibiotics tried by the authors, chloramphenicol with erythromycin and novobiocin with erythromycin have seemed to be the most reliable. Symptomatic medication is also necessary. When complications like pyopneumothorax, empyema, or progressive pleural effusions appear, early surgical intervention is advised, and close cooperation between surgeon and internist should be maintained.