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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Karen S Yehle, PhD, MS, RN (Purdue University School of Nursing)
Description: This is an update of a book that uses a systematic assessment of the 12-lead ECG and is thorough and detailed in its approach. The previous edition was published in 1992.
Purpose: According to the authors, the book is meant to serve as a "quick and ready guide to health care professionals familiar with the basics of electrocardiography." The book provides detailed yet concise steps related to decision-making in emergency situations where analysis of the 12-lead ECG is crucial. The book meets these objectives in a logical, analytical manner.
Audience: This is not intended for a novice in 12-lead ECG interpretation. Healthcare professionals with experience in ECG analysis will find that the book is written for them, since the authors assume an understanding by the reader of basic ECG interpretation.
Features: The authors address not only the emergency response to many arrhythmias but provide an extremely detailed response and analysis of early recognition of MI and reperfusion strategies. Additionally, step-by-step emergency approaches are provided related to digitalis toxicity, hyperkalemia, and hypokalemia. The ECG related to pulmonary embolism and hypothermia is also included, a unique feature of this book. Detachable cards for quick reference are provided at the back of the book. Each chapter begins with a summary box related to emergency decisions, emergency response, or emergency approach. One shortcoming is the lack of color in the ECG strips used in each chapter. Other positive features are the end of chapter summaries and the references provided at the conclusion of each chapter. The index is also quite complete and easy to use.
Assessment: This book is a useful way to increase one's knowledge of the 12-lead ECG in emergency decision-making. It makes a good reference book, as it is detailed and thorough, with updates from the previous edition. It could also be incorporated in a critical care course for healthcare providers as it is a high quality text.