Intensive care of the critically ill means doing your best for the patient with the available resources. All hospitals have critically ill patients. It is inexcusable if a hospital fails to do its "best", although what is "best" will vary from hospital to hospital and country to country. The debate in the Tropics should not be, "is intensive care appropriate?" but rather "what is appropriate?". The term "Intensive Care" has been wrongly associated with technology and machines. Some machines such as ventilators can be life-saving. Nonetheless, we believe that this book is more concerned with the concentration of available resources and skills to try and save the rescuable. The management of patients is often simple in design though intensive in effort. Delay, ignorance and wastage are the stumbling blocks to effective and appropriate care. This book is aimed at those who must treat critically ill patients in the Tropics. Explanations of pathophysiology have been kept to a minimum. The emphasis is on recognizing and solving the problem.
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