January 31, 1972

Critical Surgical Illness

Author Affiliations

University of Cincinnati Cincinnati


edited by James D. Hardy, 679 pp, 206 illus, $28, Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co., 1971.

JAMA. 1972;219(5):623. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190310049024

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This is a four-star volume! Thirty monographs, some 20 to 45 pages in length, cover subjects that "represent the principal cause of major morbidity and mortality on most surgical services." The editor declares that the book is about treatment, but the reader should be prepared for academic discussions, solidly founded on historical introduction, pathophysiologic background, and structural change. This is no manual of emergency treatment, suitable for the desk in the admitting and intensive-care units. Rather, the book epitomizes, in print, the professor's approach to those problems discussed in death meetings and complication conferences on a teaching surgical service. And so, dear reader, on the night before such conferences settle down with this book and the following day the thoroughness of your discussion will awe your colleagues.

The tone is set in a scholarly opening chapter (Francis Moore of Harvard) on posttraumatic pulmonary insufficiency. The editor, James Hardy of the