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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is the first edition of a softbound pocket guide to problem solving in critical care.
Purpose: This book provides crucial points, including first steps in diagnosis and management, for the variety of disorders likely to be encountered in an adult intensive care unit.
Audience: Resident and student participants in the intensive care unit are an appropriate audience for this work. Authors come from the Department of Medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles.
Features: Twenty chapters, a table of contents, and index are included in a handsome softbound text of approximately 300 pages. Content is organized by organ system after some initial comments on monitoring devices and general patient support. Other topics extending beyond specific organ system consideration such as infectious disease, rheumatology, toxicology, oncology, and environmental hazards are dealt with in separate chapters. Each chapter contains a list of topics; each of which is presented with bullet points describing essentials of diagnosis, followed by key points in differential diagnosis and fundamental aspects of treatment. A concluding "pearl" and a reference are found on each page. References typically come from review articles and represent work dating within two to three years of publication. Occasionally, key papers from primary literature are included. There are no illustrations or line drawings. The table of contents lists each topic and chapter in which it is contained. A detailed index provides adequate access to content.
Assessment: Current Essentials of Critical Care is an attractive pocket guide for the clinician on the firing line. Clearly, this is not a physiology or comprehensive treatment text. The pearls and references, however, rapidly expand data available to the reader. This is a helpful work, particularly in medical critical care.