Two investigations were attempted to add insight into the multiple problems related to staphylococcal infections. A comparison study was made of the hospital expenses of a group of hospitalized patients whose apparently clean surgical wounds developed staphylococci, and a comparable group whose surgical wounds healed without infection.

A review of approximately one hundred medical records for the pilot study revealed three instances of staphylococcal infection in apparently clean surgical wounds. The three patients required 239 days of hospitalization at a total hospital cost of $13,702.11. The three comparable patients whose surgical wounds remained clean required 27 days hospitalization at a total hospital cost of $1,283.21. However, only one case of infection in a surgical wound was found during a review of ninety-eight charts which was the criteria in the selected hospital for the two-year period 1962-1963.

It was felt that a report of selected physical characteristics of this same group of ninety-eight patients would give nurses additional insight into the admission and treatment of patients with staphylococci by indicating some types of patients who may be the means of disseminating staphylococci within the hospital, and by identifying highly susceptible patients who need protection from infection.

A total of 280 constitutional problems were found among the ninety-eight patients, ranging from zero to 10 in each patient, and making an average of 2.86 for each patient. In addition, three patients had received radiation, and six had received steroid therapy.

One hundred fifty-eight infections and inflammations which included chronic, recurrent, recent, or current processes that might conceivably contribute to the development of staphylococcal wound infection either directly or indirectly were identified. Respiratory infections was the largest single classification with 38 cases. One hundred twenty-two other physical problems were found among the patients.

The findings of respiratory, skin, urinary, and gastrointestinal infections and inflammations on a chronic, recurrent, recent, or current basis, coupled with actively draining osteomyelitis and other oozing sinuses and skin inflammations, point to patients who may be the means of disseminating staphylococci within the hospital. The reports of other constitutional problems affecting the infected patients indicate the highly susceptible patients who should be protected from infection.

Nineteen bacteria other than staphylococci, and fungus in two instances, were identified from wound exudate in the ninety-eight patients.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

R. Maureen Maxwell

Second Advisor

Betty J. Stirling

Third Advisor

Gertrude L. Haussler

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Staphylococcal Infections



Page Count

viii; 94

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives