Staphylococcus pneumonia, as seen by the surgeon, may occur in one of three ways: (1) after a virus respiratory infection; (2) in infants, (3) in the postoperative patient.
In all instances of staphylococcal pneumonia the most serious aspect is that of a virulent necrotizing infection superimposed on a weakened host. In infancy this is made manifest by pneumonia with a pyopneumothorax and a high mortality rate.
In patients who have had a respiratory tract infection with the influenza virus, the lung is evidently much more susceptible to infection by the hemolytic staphylococcus. These postinfluenzal infections are associated with a high mortality. In the third wave of the Asian flu this past winter, the death rate over the country was reported in excess of 13,000—mainly attributed to postinfluenza pneumonia.
The type of staphylococcal pneumonia most frequently encountered by surgeons is in the postoperative patient. These postoperative infections occur because of poor