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Cardiac surgery has made extraordinary progress in the last few decades. This is largely the result of dedicated effort and almost perfect teamwork among cardiac surgeons and the allied specialty groups (anaesthesists are obviously part of it). The creativity, imagination and skills that have given rise to numerous technical innovations and surgical procedures have brought to reality the surgical treatment of the majority of the congenital malformations and the acquired lesions of the heart. The basic principles of patient selection and surgical technique in current adult cardiac surgical practice are outlined below.
Most patients with critical cardiac or thoracic conditions will at some stage pass through the cardiothoracic critical care unit. Critical care presents more complex clinical data than any other area of medicine. Continuous monitoring makes diagnosis easy and further information can be easily obtained via a variety of diagnostic tools. Core Topics in Cardiothoracic Critical Care will guide clinicians from all disciplines in the management of cardiothoracic patients, demystifying the critical care unit and providing the key knowledge in a concise and accessible manner. The central section is a detailed discussion of the management of each physiologic system; additional sections cover admission, general considerations in cardiothoracic critical care, procedure-specific care, discharge and follow-up, structure and organization of the unit, and ethical and legal issues. All aspects of the overall care of the critically ill cardiothoracic patient are explained concisely and comprehensively by experts in the field.