Description: This is the fifth edition of a compendium of facts, tables, and treatment strategies for common problems seen in seriously ill medical patients or in the multidisciplinary critical care setting.
Purpose: A shirt pocket-sized collection of relevant data for many critical care conditions is provided.
Audience: Medical students and residents are an appropriate audience for this pocket companion originating from a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health.
Features: This 350-page softcover book will fit in a shirt pocket, yet it has a type font large enough to be easily read. It begins with common critical care calculations and a summary of algorithms for advanced cardiac life support. Then, based on organ system, the book features cardiopulmonary, endocrine, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious disease, renal, and rheumatologic conditions. The final third of the book includes one- to two-page summaries of drugs commonly encountered in the critical care setting including vasoactive agents, sedatives, anti-infective agents, and anticoagulants. Chapters present a related collection of bulleted phrase summaries with tables and occasional diagrams, and generally include footnotes featuring key studies from the primary literature and occasional summaries from secondary publications. References date to within three years of the date of publication, though many references are far older. Illustrations are limited to occasional line drawings which reproduce well. The table of contents lists chapters and subheadings allowing immediate access to subject matter. A concluding subject index also allows good access to content.
Assessment: This continues a popular series of collections of facts for medical students and trainees. Applications for iPhone, Android and Blackberry products may increase use of this tool.