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From The CriticsReviewer: Dunya M Atisha, M.D.(University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)
Description: This is a basic yet comprehensive review of the application of lines, drains, tubes, and frames used to care for surgical patients most appropriate for interns preparing to begin their surgical residencies or upper level medical students interested in pursuing surgical careers.
Purpose: The purpose seems to be to restore an interest in and understanding of the basic principles associated with adequate care of surgical patients. These are certainly worthy objectives, especially since surgical residents have to reduce their work hours and allied health professionals are taking over basic tasks that surgical residents should ultimately master. The book meets its objectives in most chapters. A few chapters could have used more detailed discussion and illustrations.
Audience: It is written for all levels of surgical trainees, students, and nurses. It appears most appropriate for surgical residents who are early in their training or medical students who are interested in pursuing a surgical residency as well as for surgical nurses.
Features: The book covers some of the basic principles associated with the application of different surgical lines, drains, feeding tubes, and frames for all surgical patients (including urologic, neurologic, and orthopedic surgical patients). Important to surgical resident training are the chapters on the principles associated with managing the basic issues surrounding care of the surgical patient, including the open abdomen, stomas, the airway, surgical wounds, and pain. The book does a wonderful job of describing techniques associated with performing certain surgical procedures, such as surgical airways and central line and peripheral line placements. Illustrations in these chapters provide excellent visuals. The pain chapter provides thorough descriptions of the different options associated with pain management. The most disappointing chapter is on stomas. Understanding the anatomy, function, and application of the different types of stomas may be a challenge for surgical residents who are new in training. This chapter should have included more detail about the indications for a loop vs. end colostomy, mucus fistula versus not, Hartmann's etc. Furthermore, it should have included a more detailed discussion of the kinds of immediate and delayed stomal complications that could occur and how to manage them, instead of simply referring to a stomal specialist. This would be most helpful to both surgical trainees and nurses who are caring for these patients.
Assessment: This book does an adequate job of describing the basic principles associated with the care of surgical patients, but it is most appropriate for those who have yet to begin surgical training. It is incumbent upon surgical trainees to then master their knowledge through the use of surgical textbooks, teachings from their seniors or attending staff, and experience. The illustrations are fantastic and they do a superlative job of introducing these principles and techniques to new students or trainees. In comparison to other books, it dominates in terms of illustrations and it is quick, fun reading. However, it is obviously not meant to replace the comprehensive information in surgical textbooks (Greenfield's Surgery: Scientific Principles and Practice, 4th edition, Mulholland et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006), and Schwartz's Principles of Surgery, 8th edition, Brunicardi et al. (McGraw-Hill, 2005)).