Color Atlas of Emergency Trauma ( 2nd ed. ). Edited by , MD, PhD, and , MD . New York : Cambridge University Press , 2011 ; 313 pp; $250.00 (hardcover ).
Traumatic injuries make up a key component of the practice of emergency medicine. The ability to recognize injuries upon presentation and knowledge of the associated common pitfalls and the best strategy for initial stabilization are vital to patient outcome. In Color Atlas of Emergency Trauma (2nd ed.), the authors set out to provide the reader with a visual odyssey of clinical images, radiographs, and diagrams of a vast majority of traumatic injuries encountered in the emergency department. Images help in the recognition of sometimes-subtle clinical findings that affect the clinical management of individual injuries. The text serves to provide a global overview of some of the most common injuries encountered daily at trauma centers, as well as the catastrophic, less frequently encountered injuries and procedures such as the perimortem cesarean section.
The authors have broken down the text into topical sections by both grouped organ systems, such as thoracic and abdominal injury, and special topics, including ballistics and disaster medicine, which are among the new dedicated sections not present in the first edition of the text. Each section commences with a brief introduction followed by clinical examination, key components of investigation, and general management principles. Common mistakes and pitfalls conclude each introductory section. The reader is then provided with a more detailed synopsis of individual injuries and injury patterns related to that particular system, including initial clinical findings and key components of clinical intervention. These sections also offer updated and additional clinical pearls not present in the first edition. Chapters are interspersed with an overview and basic steps of key procedures, such as tube thoracostomy, with both actual and diagrammatic images. Radiographic and computed tomographic illustrations are also provided to illuminate technical complications of these procedures.
Undoubtedly, the strongest component of this text is the culmination of the image library reflecting years of practice and experience of the authors. This is, however, more than just a visual textbook of trauma. The supplemented text provides a great framework and basis for the reader, both experienced and inexperienced in traumatology, to build further knowledge. As Dr. Hoyt states in the foreword, “the experience this book offers is a great adjunct to traditional texts and to other resources.” This textbook is relevant to the novice medical student and emergency medicine or surgical intern as well as the emergency physician out in practice for many years who is involved in the assessment and stabilization of traumatic injuries. Although sections do at times delve into the care provided beyond the emergency department, the book provides the emergency physician reader with insight into the potential operative needs of the patient, which ultimately can affect care provided in the emergency department. Overall, this is a great reference resource and a worthwhile read.