Marking 30 years of critical care medicine

The International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (ISICEM) is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010, and to acknowledge this milestone Critical Care has published a related viewpoint article by Editor-in-Chief Professor Jean-Louis Vincent, ISICEM chairman.

This article, co-written by several members of Critical Care’s Editorial Board, is an account of the last 30 years in the field of critical and intensive care medicine. As well as discussing the advances made in specific areas such as sepsis, respiratory failure and cardiovascular disease, the authors are very honest in disclosing that, overall, there have been few major developments in new therapies for intensive care patients. Despite this, notable advances in the process of care and thus patient outcomes are also described.

Looking ahead to the next 30 years the authors speculate that improved communication between research scientists and ICU physicians, better models to test the effect of complex interventions, and improvements to critical care in developing nations will be seen. We congratulate the organisers of ISICEM on this anniversary, and look forward to reporting on the next exciting developments in the field.

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