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Critical Care Secrets.

Critical Care Secrets. Fourth Edition. P. E. Parsons, J. P. Weiner-Kronish; Mosby Elsevier, Distributor: Elsevier, 30-52 Smidmore St, Marrickville, N.S.W. 2204; $65.00; 135x215 mm; pp. 610; ISBN 13: 978-1-4160-3206-1.

The authors of Critical Care Secrets have sought to provide the reader with practical information to guide the care of critically ill patients in a relatively small but not quite pocket-sized text. The top 100 secrets are listed followed by concise and focused chapters on a comprehensive range of topics covering the breadth of critical care, presented as a question and answer format, and including 'key point' summaries and limited references. In that regard, the reader is able to quickly focus on their topic of interest (if included) and efficiently acquire information.

The content is most suited to clinicians new to critical care, such as intensive care junior medical staff and critical care nursing staff, and would be considered too basic a reference source for more experienced practitioners or advanced trainees. Furthermore, the content relates to North American practices and therefore parts have limited applicability to many Australasian intensive care units, e.g. pharmacological recommendations.

While the text itself provides much useful information, the top 100 secrets mostly left me disappointed. The majority were of a very basic and general nature, others were not applicable to Australasian practice and unfortunately I considered some to be dangerous if not applied in very specific situations. An inexperienced reader may not appreciate the contextual relevance of such recommendations.

Overall, Critical Care Secrets fills a niche for clinicians entering critical care but I would consider that there are alternative locally written books that may be more relevant and better value for a person planning on adding this text to their library.


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Author:Ernest, D.
Publication:Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Article Type:Book review
Date:May 1, 2008
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