D. B. LONGMORE The concept ofthe meeting on which this book is based is unique. There has never be fore been a multi-disciplinary meeting based entirely on the concept of making a major branch of surgery safer. Hopefully, this meeting will be archetypal and will set a precedent for similar attempts in other disciplines as well as future efforts to make cardiac surgery safer. Cardiac surgery is still a rapidly growing discipline even after a quarter of a century of experience. Like any new area of science, or medicine, initially there is an exponential growth ofwork, publications, meetings, options of available equipment and all the ancillary and peripheral disciplines associated with it. The ideas of the handful of original surgical pioneers, some of whom have contributed to this book, formed the basis of a still rapidly growing young branch of surgery with a whole new medical discipline of total extracorporeal circulation involving biochemical and haemodynamic control of a patient.