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Acute medicine: Wikis


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Acute medicine is that part of internal medicine concerned with the immediate and early specialist management of adult patients with a wide range of medical conditions who present in hospital as emergencies.[1] It developed in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s as a dedicated field of medicine, together with the establishment of acute medical units in numerous hospitals.[1] Acute medicine is not identical to emergency medicine, which is limited to the management of people attending the emergency department.[1]


The field developed in the United Kingdom after the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow published a joint report in 1998 emphasising the importance of appropriate care for people with acute medical problems.[1][2] Further reports led to the development of acute medicine as a dedicated specialty, and in 2003 it was recognised by the Specialist Training Authority as a subspecialty of general medicine.[1]

Around the same time, it was recognised that care for acutely admitted patients should ideally be concentrated in "medical assessment units" (MAUs). A physician experienced in the management of acute medical problems could assess and treat these patients in the most appropriate fashion for the first 48 hours of their admission, aiming either for an early discharge with appropriate outpatient follow-up or transfer to a specialist ward.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Dowdle JR (November 2004). "Acute medicine: past, present, and future". Emerg Med J 21 (6): 652–3. doi:10.1136/emj.2003.012211. PMID 15496684. PMC 1726512.  
  2. ^ Royal College of Physicians (April 1998). Acute Medical Admissions and the Future of General Medicine. Edinburgh and Glasgow: Scottish Intercollegiate Working party.  


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