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From The CriticsReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is a pocket manual describing acid-base and respiratory management as guided by the arterial blood gas.
Purpose: Key concepts of arterial blood gas analysis are provided in a pocket-sized format.
Audience: Junior house officers and medical students are an appropriate audience for this work emanating from the Royal United Hospital and the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.
Features: The manual is divided into two parts, with the initial part describing pulmonary gas exchange, patterns of gas exchange disorders, and irregularities of acid-base balance. An evaluation system for gas exchange and acid-base disorders is then presented. The second part includes 25 cases in which the reader is asked to identify the acid-base abnormality and the pattern of gas exchange irregularity. Detailed answers with basic calculations of gas exchange and acid-base parameters are provided. This concise presentation makes excellent use of color tables and line drawings to illustrate key points. An occasional chest x-ray is used. I was disappointed at the absence of primary or secondary references. The table of contents easily presents the flow of presentation while the concluding brief subject index makes special mention of material included in the question and answer section.
Assessment: This is an excellent quick read which introduces an important aspect of ICU physiology. Detailed physiologic relationships are not described. Instead, an introduction using clinical cues and a simple pattern of data analysis is emphasized.