Reviewer: Sarah E Mott, MD (Regions Hospital)
Description: This is a pocket-sized, quick-reference guide to the most common patient presentations seen in emergency medicine. The content is evidence-based and presented in a way that focuses on the information essential to rapid and accurate decision-making. The use of commonly required but often difficult to remember charts and algorithms further increases its utility.
Purpose: This book was designed to bridge the gap between the latest scientific research and its clinical application. The authors present information in a concise manner, focusing on the application of the best evidence-based medicine rather than the pathophysiology of disease. Their overall goal is to provide trained medical professionals with an efficient and utilitarian pocket guide. The authors' goals are worthy and unique. Unlike other pocket resources that devote more space to the background and etiology of disease, this one is more clinically relevant, offering specific recommendations for assessment and management with up-to-date references listed in the appendix. Although it is difficult to encapsulate the key information for every clinical scenario encountered in emergency medicine in a single pocket resource, the authors successfully achieve their goal and address the most important.
Audience: It is intended for use by trained medical professionals caring for patients in the emergency department, including physicians and advanced practice providers (nurse practitioners and physician assistants). Congruent with its goals, it is more suitable for trained providers than learners. The authors are diverse in their degrees (one from each of the listed disciplines) and location of training, but similar in that each has extensive experience in the field of emergency medicine, bringing more than 80 years of combined experience to the book. Dr. Jeffrey Klein, an EM boarded physician, is a figurehead in the field. This is an evidence-based book, providing recommendations supported by current literature, written by a very credible group of authors.
Features: This compact book presents clinical pearls for management of more than 80 of the most commonly encountered presentations in emergency medicine. These diagnoses comprise a majority of the book and include medical diseases, traumatic injuries, toxicology, and surgical subspecialties. Organized alphabetically, each section is further broken down into general information, evaluation, and management. The section on specific conditions is followed by a general reference including useful images, charts, and figures including CDC recommendations for management of specific infections, interpretation of ECGs, and dermatome figures, among others. The use of color, inclusion of tables, and the standardized way of presenting information helps ensure that readers are able to rapidly access key information with which to make critical management decisions. The inclusion of risk scores, charts, and algorithms, as well as specific medications and their doses, eliminates the need for clinicians to carry multiple references. The book devotes less space to the management of orthopedic injuries and procedural skills compared to other topics.
Assessment: I would highly recommend this book to clinicians trained and practicing in the field of emergency medicine. Unlike similar pocket references, this one cuts out much of the pathophysiology and background of disease, focusing instead on practical, evidence-based recommendations for management. It not only covers the most common presenting complaints, but also less common, but more life-threatening conditions requiring rapid assessment and treatment. This would be an excellent choice for trained providers looking for a compact, clinically oriented reference for management of patients in an emergency department.