The First Wiggers Bernard Conference on Shock, Sepsis, and Organ Failure was envisaged as a meeting of American and European Scientists. It was named after two researchers, one from the "Old" and one from the "New World", who are wellknown for their outstanding achievements in shock research and experimental medicine. This meeting was a point of de parture for a series of workshops that will focus on two to three main topics dealt with in detail by experts in their respective fields. The First Wiggers Bernard Conference addressed three main questions: 1. Multi-organ-failure - is it a sequence of organ failures or a systemic disease? 2. Cellular events in trauma and sepsis - are they due to suppression, activation or both? 3. Mediators of organ failure - are LPS or sepsis necessary? Although many answers were given in this first session, numerous issues remain to be clarified due to the enormous complexity of the subject. How ever, the stage was set for encounters between clinicians and basic medical researchers, since theoretical knowledge will be useful to the clinician ex ploring new approaches to diagnosis, prophylaxis, and therapy. The conference could not have been organized without the generous sup port of the Immuno Company, Vienna, Austria. May we express our special thanks to Dr. Eibl, managing director and head of the research division of Immuno AG, not only for granting financial support but also for his valuable advice, encouragement, and scientific expertise.
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