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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: B. Zane Horowitz, MD (Oregon Health and Science University)
Description: This is the fourth full-size textbook entry in the field of clinical toxicology. Although it is organized in a similar fashion to the other texts on the market, it is unique in its tight editing and formatted style, making it a good quick reference source.
Purpose: The goal is to provide students, residents, and practitioners with an authoritative, affordable textbook of medical toxciology, one whose format allows easy access to clinical information. The editors have succeeded in keeping their authors on track with the tight format, thus allowing the user the ability to quickly look up key information needed for assesment and treatment of toxicology. Some detailed pathophysiology has been stripped out in order to keep this text to task, but overall this is a very usable book for the non-toxicologist.
Audience: The text is aimed at medical students or residents doing a rotation in toxicology. All chapters are written by well recognized and published authorities in the field. The editors are to be commended for keeping their many authors reigned in to a specific format, as each chapter is similarly organized. I thought the real test of this text would be to replace the bedside "bible" kept by the on-call fellow or toxicologist with a copy of this book to see if answering those difficult middle of the night calls was affected. I used the text for several nights this way. Although I was already familiar with most of the subject matter, I tried to put myself in the place of a fellow or resident in training to see if what I had just read would be comprehensive enough to provide information to the caller in search of consulation. Much like the commercial where the coffee in the fine restaurant is secretly replaced with the store brand, this new text performed as well as the more traditional text in toxicology.
Features: "This book covers all aspects of toxicology, much in the same order as the traditional texts. The first sections are devoted to general mangement principles and organ system approaches to poisoning. Uniquely, the central nervous system discussion is broken out in the three chapters on presentations of CNS depression, agitation, and seizures. The remainder of the text covers each of the many toxins encountered in clinical practice in depth. There are few photos of the usual toxic fauna and flora, but this is not the intent of this book. There are no novel products or chapters in this book that are not as well covered in other textbooks. However, almost every chapter does have a succinct treatment summary table for those needing only a quick reference. "
Assessment: "If you teach toxicology and require a textbook for students or residents, this would be one to get. It also would serve well as a reference for a busy emergency department. In fact, it would probably need to be nailed to the countertop so it doesn't disappear into the grasp of the last user, who will undoubtedly take a strong liking to it. However, for those already in practice of toxicology, with one or more of the other textbooks already in your possession, there is relatively little new in this effort. I would reccomend most poison centers have a copy, especially for the poison information specialists on the phones who may need to look up information quickly.The editors are to be commended for producing a text meeting their stated objective of producing a reference for the practitioner. "