J. Paul O’Keefe, MD
M.D., Loyola University Chicago
Major Research Interests: Clinical infectious diseases
My research interests are in clinical infectious diseases, particularly the investigation of infectious conditions that have occurred as a result of medical progress
Currently, research in my laboratory includes (1) an analysis of the microbiologic causes of hospital-acquired sinusitis, a frequent complication of mechanical ventilation; (2) on the basis of work with investigators in the trauma department, development of interventions that will reduce the problem of hospital-acquired pneumonia in surgical intensive care units; (3) through an ongoing collaborative relationship with the Department of Surgery at the Hines VA Hospital and using a rabbit model of fecal peritonitis, evaluation of the efficacy of procedures routinely performed on surgical patients; and (4) in conjunction with the section of infectious diseases, evaluation of new or novel uses of antibiotics in controlled clinical trials.
The problem of nosocomial sinusitis has been of particular interest. The trauma surgeons have been diagnosing and treating sinusitis by puncture and irrigation of both maxillary sinuses in the intensive care unit. By ensuring meticulous processing of the sinus fluid, we were able to define the microbial origin of this condition. In the future, we will continue to evaluate the etiology but will also determine the role of systemic antimicrobial therapy versus irrigation alone in a controlled trial.
Finally, we are also working on studies evaluating the knowledge and attitudes of people concerning their susceptibility to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the health care setting, as, for example, from an infected physician.