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January 25, 1985

Key Facts in Pulmonary Disease

Author Affiliations

New Orleans


edited by Om P. Sharma and Oscar J. Balchum, 598 pp, with illus, paper, $37.50, New York, Churchill Livingstone, 1983.

JAMA. 1985;253(4):580. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350280140043

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Leafing through the 598 pages of Key Facts in Pulmonary Disease will almost certainly jog a physician's memory, particularly if the physician has a pulmonary problem in mind. I believe a physician's first impressions are correct more often than not. If so, this process of rumination and reflection may or may not benefit the patient. However, it will assuredly make the physician's life more interesting.

Written almost entirely in outline form, Sharma and Balchum's thick paperback has 20 contributors. They use a variety of graphs, tables, charts, equations, roentgenograms, microphotographs, and pictures of lung scans to illustrate the book's 37 chapters. As usual, they begin with howto-do-it outlines of physical examination and history-taking. From there, they take up one pulmonary disease after another and end with succinct chapters on antibiotics, bronchodilator drugs, mechanical ventilation, and oxygen therapy.

In his chapter on the more common pneumonias, Dr Brown sketches first the