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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is the second edition of a monograph that reviews recent papers that provide the basis for contemporary critical care practice.
Purpose: Randomized controlled studies, physiologic data, and other research shaping the approach to patient management are discussed.
Audience: Senior residents, practitioners, and teachers will benefit from this work, which comes from a senior author and longstanding contributor to the critical care literature.
Features: The book is divided by organ system. After a series of chapters introducing general considerations in critical care practice, the book covers respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, central nervous system, and miscellaneous topics including hematology. Some chapters review classic physiology as there may be little new data in the decade since the first edition of the handbook was published. Other chapters review subjects where there have been significant contributions to the literature. Tables and boxes highlight important concerns. The infrequent line drawings and radiographs reproduce with adequate but not outstanding quality. Reference lists include citations dating to within two years of publication and are intended to focus on key papers.
Assessment: This is a worthy successor to the original handbook produced 10 years ago. The author has done a good job of highlighting the recent evolution in the critical care literature. There are gaps in this work where there has been little shift in the literature. This is not a textbook; a textbook should be consulted for an overall approach to care.