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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is the first edition of a comprehensive, multiauthor text on the management of the patient receiving mechanical ventilatory support.
Purpose: It is the intent of the editor to provide a comprehensive, authoritative, and contemporary discussion of mechanical ventilation based on knowledge gained from physiological and clinical investigations. As mechanical ventilation is the single most important therapeutic modality in the critical care unit, a reference of this type is an important contribution.
Audience: This work is written appropriately for the trainee or practitioner in cardiopulmonary critical care. The authors represent an international group of anesthesiology and pulmonary medicine critical care experts.
Features: This attractively packaged text is divided into 13 parts. It begins with background and physiology of mechanical ventilation and proceeds through indications and the various modes of ventilator support. The second half of the text describes unconventional methods of ventilatory support, physiology of mechanical ventilation, airway management complications, and weaning. The 54 chapters are introduced by an outline with changes in type texture to allow the reader to discern the flow of ideas easily. The table of contents is detailed and well organized. A detailed index including reference to figures and tables is provided. References are plentiful and identify key work. Type quality and illustrations are good, but the reproduction of the black-and-white photographs is disappointing.
Assessment: This is the most important work on this subject produced in the last decade. The only production weakness is inconsistent photograph quality. I would have enjoyed seeing additional discussion of ventilator management strategies for acute respiratory failure and the contribution of hemodynamic monitoring to mechanical ventilation strategies. Nonetheless, this is, as the editor claims, a comprehensive, authoritative discussion of mechanical ventilation.