Description: This is a handy, pocket-sized, practical handbook that presents relevant and timely information on polytrauma care in a readable, accessible, and succinct format. Although by design it does not review each topic in depth, it makes up for this with the thoroughness of the breadth and variety of topics it reviews and its ease of use. It describes not only the medical and physical issues of patients with polytrauma, but also their psychological, social, and vocational issues.
Purpose: The purposes are to provide practical summaries of the most frequent problems that patients with polytrauma experience along with recommendations for treatment to improve outcomes, all in a reader-friendly, succinct format that includes diagrams, charts, and bulleted highlights of key concepts. This has an important place in the pockets and clinical environments (rather than the desks or libraries) of medical and allied health students, as well as junior rehabilitation professionals. These important objectives are achieved in this book.
Audience: As a practical book with broad topic reviews, rather than a definitive reference with detailed descriptions, this has an important place in the hands of trainees and junior practitioners. It should be easily accessible to allied health, nursing, and medical trainees. It is not a book that should sit on a library shelf or a desk; it should be available to clinicians and their trainees during practice.
Features: The book is organized effectively, primarily based on a list of 38 common conditions seen in people with traumatic brain injury, ranging from problems such as spasticity and tremor, to dysphagia and aphasia, to depression and sexual dysfunction, to headache and insomnia. It even has some brief but well-done reviews of return to driving, work, and sports. A notable feature is the interesting and informative section on clinical tests, which includes reference to the NIH Toolbox and a list of useful clinical tests, including neuropsychological evaluations. In addition, the appendixes constitute extremely useful resources, including lists of "Ten Essential Assessments" and "Three Essential Medical Treatments." The book uses tables, which are effective, and a few figures, but more figures would have been helpful. The text is highlighted by its use of bulleted points and brief summaries of topics, which are easy to read and understandable.
Assessment: This is an effective, practical pocket book that provides succinct and easy-to-read summaries of topics relevant for providing care for people with traumatic brain injury and polytrauma. It is unique in its portable, practical, and accessible format.