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Remote or local infection appears to be causally associated with major organ failure in some surgical patients. Experience with the patients described suggests that the converse relationship may be clinically useful: organ failure may indicate the presence of otherwise occult intra-abdominal infection in postoperative patients and trauma victims. Support of organ function without definitive correction of underlying infection is only pallative.
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Accepted: May 3, 1976
© 1977 Published by Elsevier Inc.