Basic Principles

  • Martin W. DünserEmail author
  • Daniel Dankl
  • Sirak Petros
  • Mervyn Mer


Identification of the underlying disease condition is the foundation of successful and curative therapy. In stable patients, this process can be summarized in a single algorithm (Fig. 1.1). In the critically ill patient, however, acute life-threatening complications often interfere with this essential algorithm. At times, unstable vital functions result in the sole focus being on resuscitation, at least during the early management of the critically ill. It requires in-depth experience in and knowledge of both diagnostic workup and resuscitation to focus on the appropriate aspect of care at the right time. Inappropriate focus on either of the two pillars of intensive care inevitably results in inadequate treatment and may impair the chances of subsequent favourable functional recovery.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin W. Dünser
    • 1
  • Daniel Dankl
    • 2
  • Sirak Petros
    • 3
  • Mervyn Mer
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care MedicineKepler University Hospital, Johannes Kepler University LinzLinzAustria
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine and General Intensive CareSalzburg University Hospital and Paracelsus Private Medical UniversitySalzburgAustria
  3. 3.Medical Intensive Care Unit and Centre of Haemostaseology, University Hospital LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Divisions of Critical Care and Pulmonology, Department of MedicineCharlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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