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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is a compilation of essays describing contemporary issues in the critical care community. In many cases, these summaries correspond to topics, which received attention in the international critical care literature during 2002.
Purpose: Assembled is a group of presentations to maintain the database of an academic intensivist or researcher in this area.
Audience: The senior clinicians or researchers with interest or responsibility for critical care are an appropriate audience for this work. Authors come from both sides of the Atlantic with the largest number residing in Western Europe.
Features: Eighty-five chapters and a subject index are included in this 1,000 page hardbound book. The wide range of critical care topics are covered from a multidisciplinary perspective. Although molecular biology is not addressed, cellular responses in critical illness are discussed, as well as specifics of organ system support, nutrition, oxygen transport and clinical insults including trauma, sepsis, and status epilepticus. A typical chapter is 10 to 15 pages in length and contains an ample reference list. References represent original work dating to within one year of publication. Black-and-white line drawings and tables are infrequent, but reproduce well. The table of contents divides these summaries into topical domains while the subject index of approximately 12 pages gives adequate access to major subjects described.
Assessment: This book summarizes many of the hot topics in the field. Due to the breadth of subject matter and emphasis on contemporary issues, this cannot be used as a course or review book. Selections such as these may be useful to a regular reader in the field. Another focused attempt at literature review is the Year Book of Critical Care Medicine published by Mosby.