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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This monograph introduces novices to the activities and environment of the intensive care unit. A DVD included with the book has videos demonstrating common procedures.
Purpose: A visual introduction to the intensive care unit environment is provided.
Audience: Students, junior residents, nurses, and therapists encountering the intensive care unit are an appropriate audience for this work created by a senior practitioner at the University of Pennsylvania.
Features: After an introduction to the basics of the intensive care unit environment, procedures associated with support of individual organ systems are reviewed. For example, neurological procedures include brain death examination and intracranial pressure monitoring. Thoracic procedures include percutaneous airways, mechanical ventilation and bronchoscopy. Cardiovascular procedures include monitoring technologies. Smaller chapter groups cover gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and extremity considerations. The brief chapters make extensive use of color illustrations and occasionally include sample documents. Many of the photographs appear to originate from the intensive care units of the University of Pennsylvania. A typical chapter is three pages in length and includes one to two references based on original work, many from nursing standards. The table of contents groups chapters by organ system while the subject index of seven pages provides adequate access to content. The DVD describes clinical procedures including arterial and venous catheterization, pulmonary artery catheter placement, and tube thoracostomy. The video reproduction is of adequate quality and the narration is concise.
Assessment: This is a nicely illustrated introduction to the ICU environment, but there is insufficient detail to provide anything other than a brief introduction. Videos on the accompanying DVD complement but do not replicate material in the book.