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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is the third edition of an immensely popular overview of critical care practice. The last edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: The "common ground" of critical care is presented with an emphasis on fundamental principles applicable to various disciplines.
Audience: Practitioners at all levels will benefit from this work, which maintains the flavor of single authorship, although a second critical care specialist contributes to later chapters.
Features: This softcover book of 53 chapters, three appendixes, and a detailed subject index has grown by 150 pages while remaining a manageable size. The previous presentation of content is largely maintained with an opening review of cardiopulmonary physiology, procedures, monitoring, and common practices in prophylaxis. Later chapters delve into specific cardiopulmonary problems including hypoxemia, acute coronary syndromes, airflow obstruction, ventilator dependence, and cardiac arrest. Concluding sections cover acid/base changes, renal insufficiency, transfusion, infections, neurology, and metabolic support. A new section has been added on the important subject of temperature changes. Chapters are effectively updated and contain reference lists organized to correspond to content subheadings. References date to within one to two years of publication. Most but not all chapters include a brief list of summary points. Radiographs reproduce with good quality and artwork has been nicely redone. The table of contents groups chapters by type of content while the extensive subject index of 58 pages includes separate citations for figures and tables.
Assessment: This edition is another outstanding presentation of applied physiology for the clinician of any discipline practicing critical care. Production quality has been significantly enhanced with improved artwork and paper stock. I believe this edition will be as popular as its predecessors have been. Another book of comparable orientation, price, and quality is Critical Care Medicine: The Basics, 3rd edition, by Marini and Wheeler (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006).