If ever a doctor deserved the title of “Father of Critical Care Medicine”, it is Dr. Max Harry Weil, MD, PhD, ScD (Hon). Concerned by the lack of close monitoring of critically ill patients, in 1958 Dr. Weil developed the famous Shock Unit at the University of Southern California. He was always an innovator, full of new ideas, and passionate about his subject. His contributions to critical care medicine are too many to be listed, but he changed the very basics of how critically ill patients are approached and managed. Much of what we do on a day to day basis is down to Max Harry Weil: Our understanding of the pathophysiology of shock states and pulmonary oedema, of blood lactate levels, of fluids and vasoactive support in shock; the monitoring systems we use; techniques of cardiopulmonary re- suscitation (CPR), ...the list goes on. Dr. Weil brought together medicine, physiology, pharmacology, biochemistry and bio-engineering for the benefit of the patient.
Dr.Weil was a founding member and the first President of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. He published more than 600 original articles and reviews, held more than 20 patents, and received awards and honours from many of the major critical care and emergency medicine societies and associations. Over the years he helped mentor many intensivists from around the globe, and we have all benefited from the quality of that training. He was a sought after speaker at meetings worldwide, including the ESICM annual symposium at which he participated on several occasions.
A caring, thoughtful, brilliant man, Dr. Weil will be deeply missed by us all, but will never be forgotten.