Description: Part of the Oxford Specialist Handbook series, this is an overview of management principles for respiratory conditions seen in the critical care setting.
Purpose: It is designed as a concise guide to bridge the gap between introductory and comprehensive textbooks.
Audience: Residents and fellows requiring a concise presentation on the management of important respiratory problems and the use of respiratory treatment modalities are an appropriate audience for this work, which emanates from a multidisciplinary intensivist group in the U.K.
Features: The six general chapters feature an overview of the respiratory failure patient, followed by noninvasive and invasive treatment strategies, modes of mechanical ventilation, management of the ventilated patient, and management tips for specific respiratory conditions. Chapters are concise and use short paragraphs and bullet points to present the material, while texture of type and shading highlight key points. Chapters also make effective use of line drawings and tables and include a small number of references, which are from the primary literature and represent important papers dating to within three years of publication. The table of contents lists only the broadest chapter titles and does not summarize chapter. A more detailed subject index provides adequate access to content.
Assessment: This works as a bridge between comprehensive textbooks and brief introductory presentations, as claimed by the authors. In fact, portions of this book meet and exceed the standard of larger works. I was particularly impressed at the waveform analysis material. While this book has a European flavor, the clear presentation serves all audiences.