Since the first edition of the Society of Critical Care Medicine's Textbook of Critical Care was published in 1984, critical care medicine has emerged as a recognized subspecialty in the disciplines of pediatrics, surgery, anesthesiology, and internal medicine. The American Board of Pediatrics certified its first cohort of pediatric critical care medicine specialists in 1987. Pediatric critical care is expanding as a clinical, teaching, and research discipline in the 1980s, much as neonatology expanded in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There has been a concomitant proliferation of related textbooks.
Oftentimes, second editions of textbooks are merely updates of the previous edition. Happily, these editors were far more ambitious. This edition is better organized and written. The first edition exhibited the marked unevenness in style and content that plagues many multiauthored textbooks. These editors clearly molded the second edition into a more cohesive textbook. The number of chapters has increased