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From The CriticsReviewer: Cynthia Lee Cummings, RN, MSN, EdD (University of North Florida Brooks College of Health)
Description: This book outlines the body systems, methods of monitoring those systems, and how to identify critical changes in patients. It includes some examples and pictures of equipment and some pertinent case studies. This edition adds information on monitoring patients receiving blood transfusions, patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), pregnant patients, and critically ill children.
Purpose: It is intended as an aid to nurses caring for critically ill patients. It attempts to provide an overview of all systems and how to best care for patients at risk. Although these are worthy objectives, I do not feel the book is needed or that it meets the needs of nurses in the acute care setting.
Audience: Novice nurses caring for critically ill patients are the intended audience.
Features: The book covers all of the body systems and highlights monitoring and identification of problems. The beginning chapters cover rapid response identification areas. The book does a good job covering the main areas of respiratory and cardiac functioning as well as the new additions on SIRS and caring for pregnant patients. The major shortcoming of the book is that it is really a recapitulation of content found in medical-surgical and critical care books. It also is dull, lacking color and highlights. As a U.K.-authored book, it references acronyms and equipment not necessarily familiar to a U.S. audience.
Assessment: This is mainly a brief outline of the major body systems and, while it provides some good information, it reiterates information that nurses should already be aware of. The material on the use of ventilators and hemodynamic monitoring is good, but it could be highlighted and delineated in a more reader-friendly format. The book could be more colorful, providing color pictures of new equipment, highlighting important areas and new research, and providing more examples for the care of critically ill patients. It could omit the areas that should be common knowledge.