SPECIAL COMMUNICATIONS: Book Reviews
Authors: Eddleston, Michael, Davidson, Robert, Brent, Andrew, Wilkinson, Robert. Bibliograpic Data: (ISBN: 978-0-19-920409-0, 3rd edition, $49.50) 856 pages, soft cover. Publisher: Oxford University Press, Inc. Series Title: Oxford Handbooks. Specialties: General Medicine, Infectious Disease, Public Health.
This is a practical, well-written pocket-sized handbook for practitioners or medical students of tropical medicine working with limited resources. It combines useful algorithms for common clinical problems and current WHO guidelines for classification and treatment of many infectious and noninfectious diseases. Chapters on many topics such as trauma, cardiology, mental health, and dermatology as well as HIV infection have undergone major expansion and revision since the last edition was published in 2005.
This book sets out to bridge the gap between the textbooks of clinical medicine written for facilities with abundant resources and the present WHO guidelines for practitioners in isolated, resource-poor areas. The authors meet this worthwhile objective.
Physicians and nurses. The original authors, who were medical students when they wrote the first edition, have added many credible authorities as contributors. The book also provides many useful Web sites for readers who need more detail.
The book attempts to cover the most important common diseases found in the tropics such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV disease in addition to other equally important topics such as nutrition. It uses the syndrome and/or the symptom-oriented approach to diagnosis and treatment based on WHO guidelines. The many algorithms and illustrations have been added as useful guides for diagnosis and treatment. This edition also describes treatment of trauma, which is so common in developing countries. Subsequent editions would benefit from a stronger emphasis on prevention and education.
Based on current WHO guidelines, this is a well-written, comprehensive handbook of clinical tropical medicine that will be useful for practitioners in isolated settings. In particular, the different aspects of HIV disease appropriately have been given a full chapter with attention to screening and prevention, diagnosis, antiretroviral therapy, and postexposure prophylaxis.
Winnie Ooi, MD, MPH, DMD
(Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA)