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The authors of Fluid-Electrolyte Therapy in Acute Illness believe their topic constitutes "one of the most overtaught and least understood subjects in the medical curriculum." It should be no more difficult to teach than other aspects of medicine, but lucid and comprehensive texts are rare. This book, alas, also falls short of the mark.
It is a book by surgeons primarily for surgeons. Sections devoted to hemorrhage, treatment of acute injuries, and shock will not necessarily be of interest to the internist. The stated aim "to apply relevant physiologic and biochemical methods and concepts to clinical problems" is difficult to achieve in a practical working manual. Factual errors, cavalier explanations of important physiologic principles, references to review rather than to original articles, and an incomplete index detract from the worth of the text. For example, there is misleading information about urinary sodium changes in oliguria, and the explanations of pathophysiology