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  • Book Review


MANUAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL THERAPEUTICS. By M. S. Eisenberg and M. K. Copass. (Pp xvi + 31 1; Illustrated. £7.00). Eastbourne: Holt- Saunders. 1979. I CAN find little merit in this book apart from its size. Its befuddled conception is at once obvious on reading the editor's statement of its purpose and is further confirmed by the list of contents which leaves a strong impression of random selection. More specifically, there are numerous instances of important information being omitted; e.g., there is no advice to deliver one or two solid blows to the patient's chest following cardiac arrest before attempting electrical defibrillation and in the section on upper gastro- intestinal bleeding the special measures required to stop bleeding from oesophageal varices are not detailed. In other parts of the book the advice given is positively dangerous, e.g., it is recommended that normal saline is infused intravenously in the initial treatment of suspected hyperglycaemic non- ketotic coma. Because it is an American book it has two in-built disadvantages for potential European users, viz., S.I. units are not used and several drugs in common usage on this side of the Atlantic had not been approved by the F.D.A. at the time of writing, e.g., verapamil, salbutamol and mexiletine. To give potential readers a flavour of the book, I quote the definition of alcoholism given on page 247 :- "Various definitions exist, depending upon whether alcoholism is viewed in a cultural, medical or pharmacologic context". I trust that clarifies the matter! The Americans have a name for "those quasi-scientific narcissistic glossies that arrive uninvited in the morning mail and hit the trash can with their addressographed jackets still snugly around them". (World Medicine, 11th August, 1979, p.50)-they are called "trash-can specials". Need I be more explicit? P.G.N. PATIENTS AND THEIR DOCTORS. By Glin Bennet. (Pp xiii + 217. £3.75). London: Bailliere Tindall. 1979. THIS book is written by a psychiatrist who also has quali

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