Reviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is a collection of procedures, from basic to sophisticated, which may be performed at the bedside of the critically ill patient.
Purpose: It is a step-by-step reference intended to guide the provider requiring guidance for safe conduct of a variety of bedside techniques.
Audience: Students who wish to understand the bedside activity they observe and providers needing a refresher or guide to unfamiliar procedures are an appropriate audience. The book emanates from one of the leading critical care programs in India.
Features: Similar to many critical care books, this one describes procedures by organ system, beginning with airway and respiratory interventions and continuing through cardiovascular techniques, neurological procedures, and interventions for the gut and genitourinary tracts. A concluding group of chapters discuss varied topics including pressure ulcer management, infection surveillance, and specimen collection. Chapters are clearly written and make excellent use of digital photography where patient or mannequin material is featured. Digital photographs are also used to show equipment used at the bedside. Many chapters, however, lack drawings which effectively demonstrate necessary anatomic detail. Radiographs are occasionally used which reproduce well. Chapters also have reference lists with citations from primary literature dating to within two to three years of publication. The index provides excellent access to content with separate notations for figures, tables, and flow charts.
Assessment: This book appears to reflect the practice of the author group and their critical care center in India. Fundamental techniques such as transduction of vascular pressures and use of the pulmonary artery catheter and pacing technology are nicely described, but later generation monitors are not included. Neurological procedures include creation of Burr holes, which is unlikely to be undertaken in any critical care unit in the West. Less invasive intracranial monitoring technologies are not described, and a major gap is the lack of discussion of ultrasound applications. I must assume that future editions will include significant discussions of the role of bedside ultrasound and echocardiography and noninvasive techniques such as finger oximetry and transcutaneous tissue assessment for oxygen content and perfusion.