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From The CriticsReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is the 13th edition of a handbook containing data applicable to daily practice of critical care medicine.
Purpose: The author provides in succinct form charts, tables, diagrams, and algorithms necessary for management of clinical situations encountered in the intensive care unit.
Audience: This reference may be used by the critical care practitioner at any level. The student or trainee is the optimal audience for this work. The author is internationally recognized for application of cardiopulmonary physiology to support the failing lungs and circulation.
Features: This 40-page handbook is divided into 16 sections, beginning with oxygen transport and hemodynamic management. Ventilator management, oxygenation, and carbon dioxide removal algorithms follow. Subsequent sections include fluid and electrolyte management, metabolism, nutrition, acid base, and renal function. The work concludes with summaries of host-defense mechanisms, including coagulation and infection. Scoring systems used in the intensive care unit and critical care medication dosages complete this work. All figures are in black-and-white and are easily read. Flow charts are included with a common sense approach to common hemodynamic and respiratory problems. Where general agreement exists, medication dosage is provided. Perhaps most significantly, all pages are embossed to provide protection against fluid contact and staining, which is common in the intensive care unit.
Assessment: This book is a tool for the intensivist oriented to the physiologic basis of critical care. As the author claims, the majority of situations encountered can be addressed in some way by the material in this handbook. Nonetheless, this work is not always user friendly. No text explanation is provided with most tables and figures. Knowledge of physiology and applied pathophysiology is essential to enjoyment of this work. Typographical errors are few and controversial topics have been avoided. The section on scoring systems could be updated.