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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is the second edition of a multiauthor textbook of multidisciplinary critical care last published in 1992.
Purpose: Pathophysiology of critical illness is reviewed along with detailed discussions of procedures and issues involved in the direction of the modern ICU.
Audience: Critical care practitioners at all levels will benefit from this work. The editors are acknowledged experts in critical care from North America. The bulk of this material is provided by authors from the University of Chicago.
Features: Over 100 chapters and 1,700 pages are included in this single volume hardbound work. The text begins with an overview to organization of the ICU and continues with general management principles, cardiopulmonary critical care, infectious concerns, and other organ specific problems. The two concluding portions of the text discuss concerns specific to surgical disease in the ICU and other specialty problems, including pharmacology, obstetrics, dermatology, and environmental injury. Chapters open with an italicized summary of the key points. The book is organized into brief topics isolated by the character of type. Black-and-white illustrations and tables are frequent and reproduce well. Black-and-white photographs and radiographs reproduce with inconsistent quality. Each chapter concludes with a reference list, with citations dating to within two years of publication. References represent original work. The table of contents divides chapters according to general subject matter. An extensive index concludes the work with separate citations for tables and figures.
Assessment: Principles of Critical Care shows evidence of maintaining currency after the first edition. The authors have added chapters dealing with new techniques in mechanical ventilation and other inflammatory problems while revising other standard chapters. In some cases, chapters appear to be little changed from the first edition with occasional insertion of new references. Reference format is also inconsistent among chapters. Despite minor production issues, this effort is a major update of an important secondary reference for the critical care practitioner.