Editors: Mitchell P. Fink, MD; Michelle Hayes, MD, FRCA; Niel Soni, MD, FRCA
Bibliographic Data: Springer, 2008. ISBN: 978-1-84800-144-2, 605 pages, hard cover, $159.00.
Reviewer's Expert Opinion
Description: This is a collection of papers identified by an expert panel as defining contemporary practice in critical care medicine. Purpose: Abstracts, figures, and summaries from key papers are provided. Audience: Senior trainees or fellows in critical care medicine and academic practitioners or senior clinicians in the field may find this work of interest. This collection is assembled by senior clinicians and researchers in North America and Western Europe. Features: The papers, chosen by international experts, are grouped in chapters typically organized by clinical topic or organ system. Each chapter has an introduction which places the papers in context. The paper presentations begin with title, authors, citation, and abstract, if available. The reviewer then summarizes the paper and, sometimes, this summary overlaps with data presented in the abstract. Related references are provided followed by a short paragraph or bullet points highlighting the key message of the paper. Separate paragraphs then review the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript and describe clinical relevance. Line drawings highlighting key data are sometimes used and classic black-and-white photographs are included, such as photographs of the 1952 polio epidemic, which ushered in contemporary mechanical ventilation. Radiographs reproduce with adequate quality. The table of contents lists paper groupings and the contributor selecting manuscripts. The subject index of 15 pages provides adequate access to content. Assessment: This unique contribution presents the work that defines much of current intensivist activity. Despite some inconsistencies in formatting and presentation in the book, anyone with a significant interest in critical care will enjoy this collection.
Reviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)