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With the emergence of the full time emergency room physician whose broadly based training has prepared him to act quickly, decisively, and competently with a minimum of input, a new era has dawned in emergency care. The "total care concept" must begin at the scene of the accident, with continuous care until the victim is integrated into the hospital environment. Care at the scene and during transportation, coupled with the quality of care in the hospital emergency room, often determines the patient's prognosis.
Recognizing the importance of each of these phases of care and their relation to the total care concept, this issue of the journal Topics in Emergency Medicine is presented as a source of information on standard treatment and as a vehicle to convey such concepts to emergency room physicians, nurses, and paramedics. The 12 chapters cover the usual range of system injuries, and include Priorities in Treatment,
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