Sunday Book Club: Intensive and Critical Care Medicine – Chapter I

Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2011 | Posted by Debajyoti Datta | Labels: ,


I have been reading this book titled “Intensive and CriticalCare Medicine: World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical CareMedicine” by A. Gullo, J. Besso, P.D. Lumb, G.F. Williams (Eds) published by Springer and thought about writing a review of it. 
Intensive and CriticalCare Medicine: World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical CareMedicine
First things first, the book is divided into 12 sections, beginning with section I – Introduction and Mission. I will talk about the rest of the sections as I work through the book. 75 authors have contributed to the book and it is of 573 pages including the index. The book is hard bound which is rather nice.

Moving on, the first chapter “History of Critical Care Medicine: The Past, the Present and the Future” is written by G. Ristagno and M.H Weil. Now Dr. M.H Weil was a pioneer in the field of Critical Care Medicine, infact he can be attributed with coining the term “Critical Care”. He was right there when it all began and it is fascinating to learn about the birth of a specialty from him. Unfortunately, Dr. Weil passed away on July 29 this year.

The chapter gives a concise overview of the history of Critical care Medicine as a specialty, how it evolved from “Shock Ward” to the modern day Intensive Care Unit. It’s very interesting to learn about the introduction of real time patient monitoring devices and their evolution into today’s point of care devices, the setting up Society of Critical Care Medicine and how the first three presidents of the Society set up an impromptu meeting in the Boardwalk of Atlantic City.

All in all, the chapter is quite nice. There are some pictures depicting how the ICUs looked back then. Such nuggets are rarely present in textbooks. It provides a good commentary from someone who actually shaped the field.

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