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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Adrianne N Haggins, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This update of a 2006 publication covers all the major areas covered in the core ACLS curriculum. It is organized in a succinct and straightforward question and answer format, with algorithms, for fast and easy review.
Purpose: The authors write this study guide for use as a rapid, but thorough review of ACLS principles to ultimately improve performance on written and practical exams.
Audience: This could be a useful tool for residents, paramedics, and nurses. The authors are are careful to streamline the information to the scope of the AHA guidelines.
Features: The book focuses on the core areas all ACLS responders need to know, such as assessment and management of the airway, analysis of ECGs, goals of monitoring and tools of resuscitation, and key objectives in managing MI and stroke patients. The book is clear and concise and effectively limits the questions and answers to pertinent concepts that are likely to appear on the exams. These concepts are also re-emphasized throughout the book to reinforce their relevance. Numerous ECGs are incorporated, which help to test the reader's ability to recognize the commonly tested rhythms. The only shortcoming is that the algorithms are presented in a list format, rather than a flow chart, which would be a more ideal visual learning aid.
Assessment: This is a useful and necessary third edition because ACLS guidelines are continuously changing. The goal of ACLS is to provide not only rapid, but also effective treatment strategies. Therefore it is helpful to have a review guide that reflects the most recent AHA recommendations. This book's most impressive aspect is that it presents the core topics in a direct and concise manner, that makes it a quick read and easy to understand.