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August 1979

Surgeons and Intensive Care Units

Arch Surg. 1979;114(8):881-882. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1979.01370320013001

Intensive care units (ICUs) are an outgrowth of the recognition by physicians that critically ill patients have special problems, the solutions to which often require the expertise of a wide range of medical and nursing talent. Proficiency in all phases of the care of seriously ill patients is rarely, if ever, found in an individual whose training has been in any one specialty area. Historically, anesthetists have been the most visible single group of medical specialists involved in the organization and management of combined medical, respiratory, and surgical ICUs. The contributions of our anesthetic colleagues to these units have been immense and are born of their particular knowledge and competence in the management of patients who need resuscitation and complete respiratory support during operations and in the postoperative recovery period. Since most patients who have serious postoperative problems are cared for in ICUs, the management of which is directed by

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