Surgeons and the Intensive Care Unit

Arch Surg. 1983;118(1):128-129. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1983.01390010094024.
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To the Editor.—A recent editorial on the role of the surgeon in the intensive care unit (ICU) (Archives 1982;117: 391) argued more from an emotional than a practical standpoint the apparently decreasing influence of the surgeon in this setting. Unfortunately, Dr Sugerman focused on areas that for most ICUs are no longer matters of concern. Without doubt, "intensive" care should incorporate the best available medical and nursing care, combined with the most advanced monitoring that the hospital can provide. Moreover, the intensive care specialist administering an ICU should provide support and clinical expertise commensurate with these goals. Nevertheless, despite such criteria, removal of the surgeon in this instance from this area is tantamount to delivering substandard care. There should be no change, for example, in the carefully worked relationships between surgeon, patient, and family, although often there is need for interactions between intensive care personnel and relatives. Such interactions


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