Description: This book discusses a series of critical care clinical scenarios with review questions presented by a multidisciplinary group of contributors.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an approach to patient assessment and the development of a diagnostic and therapeutic plan.
Audience: Medical or allied health students working in the critical care unit are an appropriate audience for this book. Editors include senior clinicians at the University of California-San Francisco, the University of Texas, Houston and Westchester General Hospital in Miami.
Features: A brief introductory section sets out a basic approach to clinical problems and patient assessment. Next, 42 case scenarios make up the majority of the book. Each consists of a brief clinical presentation with a small number of questions, then a detailed analysis that includes background on the clinical problem, differential diagnosis, and an approach to management. Tables and occasional line drawings are used to good effect. Each presentation includes a small number of references, which for the most part, represent secondary literature and primary literature from many years prior to publication, although a few cite current primary literature. Specific authorship for individual cases is not indicated. The third and final section lists case content by topic with page references. The subject index of approximately 20 pages includes separate citations for figures and tables.
Assessment: For students seeking a means to integrate differential diagnosis and basic laboratory and imaging studies to arrive at initial steps in management, this may be a useful tool. However, the level of sophistication of the cases and the quality of references are uneven.