Description: An increasing amount of critical care is performed before patients reach the intensive care unit. Some of this work is done in the prehospital setting, and many essential interventions take place in the emergency department. This book describes critical care considerations for patients in the emergency department.
Purpose: This work is targeted at practitioners providing initial management of patients in this setting.
Audience: Students and practitioners of emergency medicine, surgery, hospital medicine, and other disciplines responding to the emergency department are an appropriate audience for this work, which is written by a mixture of emergency medicine, surgery, and critical care practitioners.
Features: Chapters are grouped by anatomic location of critical care issues, beginning with cardiopulmonary topics and continuing through gastrointestinal, neurological, hematological, and infectious disease concerns. Concluding chapters include presentations on interventional and diagnostic ultrasound, shock management, nutrition support, and transportation of critically ill patients. Chapters are clearly written and tables effectively present key data. Photographs are sometimes used, but the quality is inconsistent. Each chapter includes a reference list of primary literature, dating to within three to four years of publication. The table of contents includes chapter grouping by subject matter and lists authorship. A detailed subject index includes separate citations for figures and tables.
Assessment: This book fills an important gap in the secondary critical care literature and provides a tool for emergency medicine practitioners. Most chapters effectively reach this audience. I was, however, surprised at the inclusion of topics such as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and management of postcardiac surgery patients, for example. A second edition could appropriately include presentations on resuscitation after injury.