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January 2, 1978

Medical News

JAMA. 1978;239(1):9-14. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280280009001

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Postoperative wound sepsis rate can be cut by simple measures  A septic surgical wound is "a remarkably expensive luxury" that causes an average extra hospital stay of ten days—at as much as $180 a day. So said Peter J. E. Cruse, MB, of the surgery department at Foothills Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, in a panel dicussion of surgical sepsis and immune competence at the Dallas meeting of the American College of Surgeons.Dr Cruse explained that Foothills Hospital began a study of all cases of surgical sepsis in 1967. The prospective study is still going on as a sort of quality control program for the hospital's surgical staff."You judge a surgeon's technique by his clean wound infection rate," Dr Cruse said. "That's the thing you've got to preach over and over again." When a surgeon is conscious that he will be judged by that rate, "it has a police-car