Preface| Volume 20, ISSUE 1, Pxi-xii, January 2004


      The final decades of the previous century generated remarkable advances in the medical care of injured patients. Trauma system development, trauma provider education, shock and resuscitation research, advances in operative techniques and anesthesia, and the evolution of critical care have all contributed to improved outcomes for severely injured patients.
      Trauma care is now a multidisciplinary effort that requires the attention and commitment of a large variety of prehospital and hospital services. Although trauma surgeons have historically led the effort to save the lives of these patients, physicians of all specialties are essential for trauma services and programs to flourish. Critical care physicians will frequently encounter injured patients in their intensive care units, especially in community hospitals. A knowledge of the fundamental principles of injury, resuscitation, and coagulation that are unique to trauma patients is vital for critical care physicians of all specialties.
      This issue of the Critical Care Clinics attempts to summarize both the basic and more complex concepts of trauma patient care that have been established by laboratory and clinical research. The majority of authors are published experts in the topics they present, and they have been asked to explain their understanding of pathophysiology and optimal management to critical care practitioners that desire an update on these recent dramatic developments.


      John C. Mayberry, MD, FACS
      Martin A. Schreiber, MD
      Guest Editors