The first edition of the Oxford Handbook of Acute Medicine was published in 1997. Since then, acute medicine has evolved as a fully established specialty within the UK, and over 95% of hospitals now have an acute medical unit. Importantly, acute medicine is developing in Europe and Australia as part of providing high-quality care for patients presenting as a medical emergency to hospital. Such patients now constitute the largest group of patients occupying inpatient hospital beds. It is imperative therefore that all staff are trained in the management of acute medical emergencies and, importantly, have easy access to information to support the management of this acutely unwell subgroup of patients. This textbook is clearly structured and is supported by useful diagrams and algorithms, and hence the information is readily accessible. The practical procedure section is comprehensive. While many practising clinicians will not be required to undertake all these procedures, they will be involved in discussion on these issues with patients and relatives, and this text will be an invaluable guide.
The handbook series from Oxford University Press already provides useful information to many clinicians working in clinical practice. Irrespective of age or seniority, for clinicians directly involved in the early diagnosis and management of patients who present acutely, this book will provide a concise aid. The clear and up-to-date content of this text reflects the experience of the authors, and I am personally delighted to provide a foreword to a book which will undoubtedly help support the growing number of trainees working in the field of acute medicine.
Professor of Acute Medicine
Imperial College London