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Doody ReviewsReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This book reviews the evidence for critical care practices driven by answers to common clinical questions.
Purpose: It reviews pertinent research and makes recommendations.
Audience: Senior trainees and practitioners are an appropriate audience for this work, which emanates from a multidisciplinary group of medical, surgical, and anesthesia-based intensivists from North America and Western Europe.
Features: The 99 chapters are divided by organ system, pattern of injury, and ICU administration. Each chapter title is a question. The authors then review available evidence favoring management options. Chapters conclude with a succinct list of recommendations presented as bullet points. Presentations are clearly written and make excellent use of black-and-white line drawings which reproduce with excellent quality. Resolution of radiographs is less effective. Each chapter contains an extensive reference list citing primary work dating to two years before publication and including many older classic papers. Tables are frequently employed to organize data. The table of contents groups chapters based on the questions addressed and lists authorship while an extensive subject index includes separate citations for figures and tables.
Assessment: Organizing the data according to important clinical questions is a unique approach. Because clinical modalities such as mechanical ventilation are used in many clinical settings, repetition in reference lists and chapters is inevitable. Because of its problem-based format, this book does not replace the summaries of critical care modalities available in major textbooks, but this is a valuable tool for clinicians seeking to bring contemporary evidence to bear on clinical problems.