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Book Reviews

Core Cases in Critical Care

White, S. M.

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European Journal of Anaesthesiology: June 2003 - Volume 20 - Issue 6 - p 508-509
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Core Cases in Critical Care S. Ridley, G. Smith, A. Batchelor (eds) Greenwich Medical Media: London, UK, 2003, 250 pp; indexed, illustrated ISBN: 1–84110–161–3; Price £29.50

There are now a significant number of books on the market that ‘aim to provide a springboard for members of the multidisciplinary critical care team to describe and discuss principles of integrative treatment’ through the use of case histories. When I was asked to review Core Cases in Critical Care, therefore, I took the view that it was going to bring something pretty special to the party before I could recommend it. And it does. Between them the trio of editors have produced a sizeable body of good research, and are well respected as intensivists, so expectations were high even before opening the book.

The 20 case histories, written by a similarly distinguished panel of contributors, describe reasonably standard scenarios: e.g. oliguria after a hip replacement, a 19-yr-old with acute severe asthma. However, the format of the subsequent case discussion – analysis of the problem, pathophysiology, therapeutic goals, therapeutic options, outcomes, key points and further reading – is exceptionally clear and informative, without being overly prescriptive. Moreover, the amount of information provided is of a volume and complexity ideally suited to the book's target audience: trainees in critical care medicine, nursing and allied health professions; the chapters on sepsis and multi-organ failure, management of metabolic coma, and transfer of critically ill patients are particularly admirable in this respect.

Core Cases in Critical Care is a welcome edition to the genre.

S. M. White

London, UK

© 2003 European Society of Anaesthesiology