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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This pocket guide to immediate treatment of problems commonly encountered in the critical care unit is part of the On Call series.
Purpose: With contributors from surgery, internal medicine, and anesthesiology, this pocket guide is an attempt to help practitioners in the trenches.
Audience: The on-call resident treating patients in the intensive care unit is the appropriate audience for this work. Medical students may also use this guide.
Features: There are four parts to this work of approximately 600 pages. The first half is given over to brief outlines of management of common problems encountered in the on-call setting. Topics are introduced with a sample clinical problem followed by questions for the practitioner to answer in working through differential diagnosis. Treatment plans follow. In general, two to three pages are employed to describe a problem. No references are included in this portion of the book. Second is a series of longer full text chapters on core critical care exercises. These chapters, covering topics such as bedside procedures, fluid and blood product utilization, nutrition and ventilator management make good use of black-and-white line drawings which reproduce with good quality. Tables are also employed to good effect. A short reference list concludes each chapter with secondary sources dating to within two to four years of publication. Finally, commonly used medications are listed along with formulas for common critical care calculations. A concluding subject index indicates figures, tables, and major discussion areas separately.
Assessment: The book gives the rounding resident a quick guide to many of the contemporary approaches to common critical care problems. This is not intended or presented as a reference text. If supported by senior colleagues and more detailed references, this book may help the front line worker get through that night on call.