A comprehensive text of intensive care would readily fill the equivalent of the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. This is because the diseases treated are both numerous and varied; thus the patient can be medical, surgical, trauma or obstetric. It follows that the sum total of kwledge which needs to be available is truly encyclopaedic. This compact volume represents only a fragment of such information. The contributors were chosen because of their experience and because their methods were well-tried. The text therefore summarizes the best of current therapy and includes the controversial. The contributors come from four countries, adding an international flavour. One topic - The Recovery Room - outside the confines of intensive care has been included for two reasons. The recovery room is an important but neglected aspect of care, and it also seems important to define its relationships with the intensive care unit. It is hoped that the book will help the nurses and doctors involved in intensive care and, therefore, the patient. ERIC SHERWOOD JONES Vll Contributors P. M. ASHWORTH K. CHATTERJEE Department of N . using * Medicine Cardiology Division University of Manchester University of California San Francisco Stop ford Building Cardiovascular Research Institute Oxford Road Manchester M 13 9PT, UK Moffitt Hospital Rm. 1186 San Francisco California 94143, USA S. T. ATHERTON Intensive Care Unit Whiston Hospital E. M. COOKE Prescot Department of Microbiology Merseyside, UK University of Leeds Leeds LS2 91Z, UK B. J. BAIN W. E.