INFECTION is a leading cause of death in severely burned patients. The most common organism isolated from positive blood cultures has been Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The available antibiotics have not only been unsatisfactory in controlling this infection, but they also present a considerable hazard by causing tissue damage. During the past six years at the University of Michigan, a vaccine and hyperimmune plasma was developed in the laboratory and tested clinically. Its use resulted in a marked reduction in the incidence of and mortality from Pseudomonas sepsis. This report desribes the development of the immunization process and follows the complication of sepsis from the burn unit, where the problem was defined, to the laboratory where the solution was sought, and back to the patient for clinical trial and evaluation.
The University of Michigan burn treatment program was established in 1959. A comprehensive program, providing for a sequence in patient care, was