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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This book describes management of patients requiring hyperbaric treatment for a variety of surgical and medical conditions.
Purpose: The role of hyperbaric medicine in the practice of surgery including trauma, orthopedics, reconstructive surgery, wound healing, and management of infections is reviewed.
Audience: Surgeons and intensivists having contact with a hyperbaric facility are an appropriate audience for this work. Authors represent an international group with interests in various applications of hyperbaric therapy.
Features: This handsome, hardbound book of approximately 450 pages begins with a well-written history of hyperbaric medicine. Subsequent chapters describe problems for which there is a clear physiologic rationale for use of hyperbaric procedures including air embolism, decompression sickness, soft tissue infections, and wound healing problems. An elegant discussion of the physics behind hyperbaric medicine is also provided. Chapters are well written but overlap in content is frequent. Detailed reference lists are provided including classic primary works and recent contributions dating to one year prior to publication. The quality of tables and line drawings is inconsistent. Some are elegant, others difficult to read. Similarly, the quality of photographs varies. A highlight of the work is a large number of clinical photographs with various soft tissue infections. The table of contents provides chapters with authorship. No index is provided, but a concluding appendix lists suppliers of hyperbaric medical equipment.
Assessment: This is a unique contribution describing a technology whose role in acute care medicine remains unclear. The physiology and available approaches to common problems are nicely reviewed. However, the content is frequently anecdotal and recommendations lack prospective, randomized comparative data.