Description: This is the latest in a series of works summarizing clinical developments and research in critical care and emergency medicine.
Purpose: It reviews key presentations from a recent international conference and includes presentations on selected topics at the discretion of the editor.
Audience: Senior trainees in any critical care discipline and practitioners are the intended audience for this work, which originates from an international group of authors and is edited by a leader in multidisciplinary critical care.
Features: Organ system support, acute resuscitation in critical illness, and infectious complications in critical care practice are emphasized. Topics presented in sepsis include a review of the neuroendocrine axis, cardiovascular and metabolic effects of common vasoactive drugs including norepinephrine and vasopressin, and mechanisms for community-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia. Fluid resuscitation topics include microcirculatory support, the role of albumin in the cirrhotic patient, use of blood products and transfusion-related pulmonary complications. While the book describes support of all major organ systems, there is a significant emphasis on the kidney. Renal topics include renal function in heart failure, molecular markers of renal injury, and subclinical damage in acute kidney injury. Trauma, cardiac arrest, sedation, and pain management topics conclude the book. Chapters are clearly written with ample reference lists which contain citations that date to within one to two years of publication and reflect primary literature. A concluding subject index of approximately 10 pages highlights major topics.
Assessment: This 2012 update continues an excellent series of reviews of recent work in the field. The topics it covers will be of benefit to practicing intensivists and academicians. While not a comprehensive textbook, this is a good summary of applied research in the field.