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Book Reviews


Dries, David J. MD

Author Information
doi: 10.1097/01.shk.0000278488.93675.0d
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Editors: L.D. Britt, MD, MPH; Donald D. Trunkey, MD; David V. FELICIANO, MD

Bibliographic Data: Springer, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-387-34470-6, 832 pages, hard cover, $169.00.

Reviewer's Expert Opinion

Description: This multiauthored textbook describes operative and perioperative management of emergent surgical problems. Purpose: Traumatic and nontraumatic conditions requiring rapid surgical intervention are reviewed. Audience: Senior trainees and practitioners in the evolving field of acute care surgery are an appropriate audience for this work. Trauma surgeons, intensivists, and general surgeons on emergency call in particular may use this tool. Features: The 51 chapters are grouped into five sections. Early chapters focus on perioperative support followed by a second larger group of chapters that take an organ system approach. Three concluding sections describe administration, care system and curriculum development, and international efforts to form an acute surgery practice. Chapters including general principles describe organization and use of the operating theater and intensive care unit in acute care surgery and environmental insults involving the surgeon such as burns, soft tissue infections, and mass casualty management. The largest group of chapters, providing an organ-based approach to surgical emergencies, presents the material in a "head-to-toe" fashion, with occasional comments on the pediatric patient. The impact of The Emergency Medical and Active Labor Act, informed consent, and advanced directives are among administrative topics discussed, whereas concluding chapters describe evolution of acute care surgery in the U.K., Australia, and Japan. Chapters are well written, and black-and-white photographs and line drawings are reproduced with adequate quality to complement the text. Each chapter contains an ample reference list featuring primary work. Sources generally precede publication by more than 5 years. Assessment: This is an important contribution that helps to define an emerging specialist in surgery, the manager of acute surgical problems. The perspective of multiple disciplines is included, with commentaries written and organized by experts. In future editions, I look for additional work on "bread and butter" critical care because provision of this support by surgeons can do much to improve outcome in these patients. This book is timely because a curriculum for acute care surgery has recently been published (Journal of Trauma 2007;62:553-556).


David J. Dries, MD

(University of Minnesota Medical School)

©2007The Shock Society