Although its roots date back to the early decades of the 20th century, critical care medicine did not emerge as a specialty in medicine until the 1970s. Over the last 30 years or so, the field of critical care medicine has grown tremendously and there is now a solid body of scientific information that forms the foundation for the practice of critical care medicine. But, now as physicians and hospitals around the world focus to an ever greater extend on providing high quality care, the practice of critical care medicine will continue to grow in visibility and importance among clinicians and the general public as well. This book seeks to identify the trends in critical care medicine that will form the basis for practice over the next ten years. Predicting the future is always risky. Nevertheless, the ideas articulated in this book are likely to serve as a road map for intensivists, hospital administrators and governmental leaders interested in healthcare, as they seek to improve the quality and efficiency of hospital-based services.

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