Nine years have passed since the first edition of Care of the Critically III Patient was published. As its editors Maurice Rapin and I were fortified by the many positive and helpful comments of reviewers and readers: the work appeared to have fulfilled our original aims and objectives. Intensive care medicine has, of course, advanced and changed in many ways since 1982 and it therefore seemed appropriate to consider the preparation of a second edition. Encouraged by the reception of the first and the timely prompting of the publishers we began, in 1986, to prepare for a new edition. Caring for critically ill patients is of universal concern and we were therefore delighted when Warren Zapol joined us as C'n editor widening our international base. The three of us subsequently spent many happy and productive times together planning the content, priorities, scale and contributions for the new edition. A great tragedy then overcame us: Maurice Rapin died suddenly. His death deprived us of a true friend and colleague who had been an international pioneer during the development of intensive care medicine. I will always remember, with affection and professional pride, the many hours he and I worked together in preparing the first edition of this book and also as founding editors of the now firmly established journal Intensive Care Medicine. An obituary, written by Warren Zapol, that appeared in the journal follows the Preface.
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