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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vincent F Carr, DO, MSA, FACC, FACP (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences)
Description: The author presents a concise reference for primary care providers, be they family medicine practitioners, pediatricians, internists, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants, to help them recognize early cases of a potential mass casualty situation caused by either a terrorist attack or a natural disaster. The book presents a methodical approach to biologic, radiological, or chemical agents and provides practical points on the recognition and differential of various etiologies.
Purpose: This practical reference includes the expected clinical detail, but also addresses the "worried-well" that primary care clinics can expect in these situations. The author has covered everything in a systematic and useful manner. A helpful section covers the mental health aspects of a mass casualty event, with sensitive answers to common questions that the public will have.
Audience: This is a book for all practitioners, including specialists who may be pressed into providing care outside their usual practice. It is also a useful book for lay people who want to have the answers unfiltered by the medical community. The author is a highly respected authority who has put the information in a way that can easily be understood by most people.
Features: The biologic section is broken down into specific etiologic agents and provides a refresher on what the primary care provider must know when confronted with that possibility. The chemical section is similarly organized, and the radiological section focuses on the various presentations the primary care practitioner might see in the clinic. These are followed by additional sections on the mental health considerations and how to interact with the public health community. The numerous color pictures are very helpful.
Assessment: This book should be readily available in every primary care clinic. It is concise yet complete while easy to reference. The author has kept the book practically oriented, allowing a differential to be determined and giving clear guidance on what tests to be ordered and how to request assistance from more experienced experts. I highly recommend this for every physician.