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From The CriticsReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is the third edition of a softbound, pocket size manual of critical care from the Massachusetts General Hospital.
Purpose: Topics have been chosen to cover the most common problems encountered by house staff in the everyday care of critically ill perioperative patients.
Audience: Internists, pulmonologists, neurologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, and respiratory therapists will find representation among authorship in this work. Trainees in these disciplines may benefit from reading this book. Senior multidisciplinary expertise of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard faculty is represented by the editors and contributors.
Features: The 800 pages of this softbound manual are divided into 40 chapters along with supplemental drug information, standard laboratory values, and a detailed subject index. General critical care principles are reviewed in the first set of chapters including cardiopulmonary management, nutrition, shock, and end-of-life issues. A second group of chapter contributors discuss specific medical forms of cardiopulmonary disease including valvular heart disease, coronary artery disease, ARDS, and COPD. The final group of chapter contributors describe specific surgical considerations including trauma, burn therapy, cardiothoracic surgery, the transplant patient, obstetrics, and perinatal medicine. Chapters are written in outline format with texture of type indicating subjects discussed. Components of the outline are in paragraph form with frequent use of tables and line drawings to supplement text. The quality of illustrations is good. Chapters have a small number of references. Many of the references are secondary resources but all are recent and some date to within one year of publication. The Table of Contents lists only chapter title and authorship. The subject index is extensive and includes separate citations for figures and tables.
Assessment: When compared with a plethora of critical care handbooks on the market, this one is unique, with participation of many senior authors. Illustrations are carefully chosen and reproduce well. As noted by the authors, this is not a full critical care text. However, it is a worthy introduction for practitioners of adult acute care medicine.