Description: This multiauthored book describes management of common problems seen by acute care surgeons.
Purpose: Treatment of surgical emergencies is discussed in the context of imaging, resuscitation, operative technique, and organ system support.
Audience: Critical care and surgical trainees, as well as seasoned practitioners, are an appropriate audience for this work emanating from leaders in resuscitation, organ system support, and management of a wide range of surgical emergencies. The majority of authors come from North American academic trauma centers.
Features: After a series of 12 chapters that describe principles of resuscitation and initial evaluation of acute surgical illness, the book presents common problems seen by acute care surgeons. Topics concentrate on the gastrointestinal tract with presentations on peptic ulcer disease, gastrointestinal bleeding, biliary tract injury and stone disease, pancreatitis, small and large bowel problems, abdominal wall hernias, and the open abdomen. Concluding chapters describe the impact of palliative care, the ethical consult service, advance directives, and EMTALA in the context of general surgical emergencies. Chapters are clearly written with ample illustrations and photographs. Radiographs reproduce with good quality as do pertinent photographs. Flow diagrams are sometimes difficult to read because of small type. Chapters include an extensive reference list with citations emphasizing primary literature and dating to within two to three years of publication.
Assessment: This is a well-written tool for practitioners in acute care surgery. The major emphasis is on emergency general surgery, with relatively little information on organ system support and minimal discussion of trauma. While this is an excellent book, readers should not expect a balanced survey of this clinical discipline.