Critical Care Medicine: Churchill's Ready Reference.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: White, M.
Pub Date: 01/01/2010
Publication: Name: Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Publisher: Australian Society of Anaesthetists Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Australian Society of Anaesthetists ISSN: 0310-057X
Issue: Date: Jan, 2010 Source Volume: 38 Source Issue: 1
Topic: NamedWork: Critical Care Medicine: Churchill's Ready Reference (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Vincent, J.-L.; Brimioulle, S.
Accession Number: 221657276
Full Text: Critical Care Medicine: Churchill's Ready Reference. J.-L. Vincent, S. Brimioulle; Churchill Livingstone; Distributer: Elsevier Australia - shop.elsevier. com.au, Tower 1, 475 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, NSW 2067; $55; 130x200 mm; pp. 102; ISBN 9700-080-45736-7.

This is a small handbook which aims to assist clinicians in the everyday management of critically ill patients. The book is divided into 11 topics which cover most major areas in the care of the critically ill. Many of the chapters are brief and it aims to complement rather than replace conventional larger text books.

Figures, tables and flow diagrams are used especially for some of the topics, e.g. resuscitation, cardiovascular emergencies and metabolic issues. Subjects such as ethics do not suit this format and could have been omitted. Some topics are dealt with extremely briefly (sedation and analgesia and nutritional support) while others (e.g. abdominal compartment syndrome) receive a complete section. This reviewer would suggest that the ranking of importance of topics could be improved. The trauma section is, in general, very good but it concentrates on head trauma and does not deal with, for instance, cervical spine clearance. One would have to question the use of routine Sj[O.sub.2] monitoring in clinical practice in Australia and New Zealand.

It is unclear who the target audience might be. Many of the concepts are quite complex. It assumes a large amount of prior knowledge and therefore may not be appropriate for junior medical trainees. Those who possess that knowledge are unlikely to need or use a manual such as this. Given the brevity of the book there are no references to major studies provided which could have supported the management approaches recommended.

The book does not always reflect current practice in Australia and New Zealand. For instance, SvO2 measurements for routine haemodynamic management in acute respiratory distress syndrome would not be widespread, and similarly the use of dopamine in acute renal failure. While this makes for interesting discussion among experienced doctors it is potentially confusing for trainees.

Many topics are dealt with very well, especially where decision making in the clinical setting can follow a flowchart format. However, the book tries to deal with several complex topics in a shorthand manner, making it possibly less useful for the uninitiated and unnecessary for the well informed.

M. White

Adelaide, South Australia
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.