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It is with great pleasure that we present the fi rst textbook that focuses on the intersection of critical care and emergency medicine.

For the sickest patients the quality of the interface between the emergency department and the intensive care unit can literally mean the difference between life and death. As we have seen with early goal-directed therapy and postarrest hypothermia treatment, aggressive care delivered appropriately in the emergency department has been shown to decrease mortality and morbidity for critically ill patients.

Additionally, hospital overcrowding, coupled with hospital closings and an aging patient population, has resulted in a nearly 60% increase in the number of critical care patients treated in the emergency department. Increasingly, these patients are boarded for longer periods in the emergency department presenting the emergency physician with continuing care challenges that have been traditionally managed in an intensive care unit.

This book hopes to address the challenges faced by emergency medicine physicians practicing critical care on the front lines of health care on a daily basis. It is written for emergency physicians who wish to improve their knowledge base and the quality of the care they deliver. This text provides a primer on acute resuscitative care as well as continued critical care monitoring and management. Most of chapters are written by an emergency physician with critical care training or with an abiding interest in critical care. The majority of chapters are also coauthored by a fellowship-trained intensivist with a background in surgery, internal medicine, or emergency medicine. We are very thankful for the time, patience, and thoughtful work contributed generously by each of the authors.

Lastly, the editors would like to express their deep gratitude to the entire staff at McGraw-Hill and in particular to our Executive Medical Editor, Anne M. Sydor, PhD. Anne's vision, persistence, patience, and guiding hand were essential in bringing this book to reality. It literally would not have been possible without the editorial resuscitation and critical care she provided so generously. Thank you.

David A. Farcy, MD, FAAEM, FACEP, FCCM
William C. Chiu, MD, FACS, FCCM
Alex Flaxman, MD, MSE
John P. Marshall, MD, FACEP

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