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From The CriticsReviewer: Joel C Seidman, MD(William Beaumont Hospitals)
Description: Dealing with "exacerbations" of respiratory disease, even if objectively definable, has always been difficult. Some diseases, by their nature, have the potential only occasionally to intensify with great morbidity or mortality, often remitting without intervention at all, making it difficult to test a hypothesis employing a toxic intervention in a controlled trial. Alternatively, other diseases in exacerbation are frequently morbid or mortal, but with an established anecdotal experience that a particular intervention has been useful, it is difficult to undertake a controlled trial to test the hypothesis generated by the limited prior experience. Naturally, in the first instance, some treated subjects will be subjected to unnecessary adversity; in the latter instance, control subjects might succumb, having been excluded from the lifesaving intervention. Nonetheless, the authors are able to cite substantial literature supporting their viewpoints and this book addresses contemporary aspects of acute or subacute exacerbations of bronchopulmonary disease.
Purpose: This is a concise and up-to-date treatise, brief in its explorations, that attempts to present the observations of authorities of diverse experience to provide a comprehensive review of the current state of the art regarding exacerbations of bronchopulmonary disease. However, there appears to be little that is new and not covered in other, separate references or in several similar (and more comprehensive) books published over the last 2-3 years. This compilation's greatest asset is its brevity.
Audience: The audience would include pulmonologists, intensivists, and perhaps infectious disease specialists. Nurses, respiratory therapists, and rehabilitators would find the reference informative, but too focused on topics outside of their realms.
Features: "This book focuses on the broad subject of disease exacerbation without necessarily narrowly defining what constitutes an exacerbation in each instance, stressing established or emerging areas of controversy or points where prior practices have been modified or augmented. Illustrations and graphics are limited but sufficient to carry out the ends of each chapter. The bibliographies at each chapter end are extensive and relevant. "
Assessment: The book achieves its likely intended goals well. For the average practitioner, it is accessible, but not essential.