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Oct. 1, 1958

Surgical Complications in the Thorax of Staphylococcal Pneumonitis

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, University of Colorado and the Denver General Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;77(4):508-537. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.04370010040005

Staphylococcic pneumonitis occurring in childhood has been recognized for many years, but until recently it has been regarded as a comparatively rare disease. This is indicated by the relatively small number of cases reported in the literature. Staphylococcal pneumonitis occurring as a complication of epidemic influenza has been known for a long time. The acute, fulminating, prostrating type occurring during the influenza pandemic of 1918 was described in the writings of Chickering and Park (1919).1,2 At that time mortality rates of 80%-90% were reported. The staphylococcal pneumonitis occurring principally in infants carries a grave prognosis and usually occurs in sporadic form.3 The gross mortality, in spite of antibiotic therapy, however, still remains high, with mortality figures in the range of 0 to 20%.

Relatively few cases of staphylococcal pneumonitis occurring in adults unassociated with major influenza epidemics were reported before 1950. In 1939 Heffon,4 analyzing 3319 cases of lobar pneumonia,

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