November 13, 1991

Emergency Drug Therapy

Author Affiliations

Portsmouth (Va) Naval Hospital

Portsmouth (Va) Naval Hospital


by William G. Barsan, Michael S. Jastremski, and Scott A. Syverud, 655 pp, with illus, $75, ISBN 0-7216-2584-3, Philadelphia, Pa, WB Saunders, 1991.

JAMA. 1991;266(18):2623-2624. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470180127050

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On the whole, this is a very good book and of use in the daily practice of emergency medicine. It will have a tough time breaking the emergency physician's instinct of grabbing for the PDR or Sanford's Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy or going to the computer to bring Emergindex to the screen. It is hard to break old habits.

My practice is to test a book "in the field," ie, to bring it to the emergency department and compare the applicable contents with the current treatment modes for the condition at hand. This not only avoids the need to read every word of every chapter, but also gets a more valid review.

Emergency Drug Therapy sports an impressive list of contributors. Many are big names in the specialty. A heartening note is that of 30 contributors, only five are in nonemergency fields.

As with any multiauthored book, the style varies,