Description: This book contains information regarding the management of a multiplicity of medical emergencies. This is the sixth edition; the last edition was published in 1987.
Purpose: It is intended as a pocket manual covering the essentials of current diagnostic, therapeutic, and management principles of medical emergencies. Although this book meets these admirable objectives, it is limited in its appeal because of the significant differences between British and U.S. medicine.
Audience: The designated audience is preregistration house officers, which would be interns and residents in the U.S.
Features: Unfortunately, the few illustrations make this a fairly dry handbook. The few illustrations provided are difficult to interpret and poorly captioned. The references, for the most part, are dated and not from the emergency medicine literature. The indexing is fair, but inadequate cross-referencing makes it hard to quickly find specific data. This is not an enjoyable book to read.
Assessment: I found this handbook dry and uninteresting. Although the sections concerning physical diagnosis and differential diagnosis are quite complete, the regional peculiarities are major stumbling blocks. Given drugs may be available in England, but most cited treatment regimens are not available in the U.S. Additionally, the use of international units for laboratory values are confusing to the U.S. reader. This book may be adequate for clinicians practicing in the U.K., but it will not serve U.S. physicians well.