A History of Acute Care Surgery (Emergency Surgery)

  • Matthew E. Kutcher
  • Andrew B. Peitzman


The broader field of surgery has made significant strides over the past two decades in both the understanding of surgical disease as well as in the technical conduct of operations. However, a significant portion of surgical patients present with “time-sensitive surgical disease” requiring immediate evaluation and management, often at times of the day or in clinical settings in which a specialist is not immediately available [1]. As the number of surgeons trained and willing to provide comprehensive care for this population has declined while the clinical need continues to increase, the specialty of Acute Care Surgery (ACS; referred to as Emergency Surgery in Europe) was proposed by the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST). At its inception, ACS was initially comprised of trauma, emergency general surgery, and critical care. As the specialty has begun to mature, it has expanded its focus to include elective general surgery and surgical rescue (Fig. 2.1).


Critical Care General Surgery Resident Acute Care Surgery Surgical Rescue General Surgery Residency 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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