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Edited by D Langstaff, J Christie. (Pp 402; £29.99.) Butterworth-Heinemann, 2000. ISBN 0-7506-3502-9.
When I picked up Trauma care I was expecting another run of the mill text on “how to resuscitate the multiply injured”. This expectation was shaken when the book fell open on the chapter “nutrition”. Now I know waiting times in A&E are long, but surely no one was advocating taking the breakfast trolley into “resus”? All was revealed however as I read on. The book takes a much wider view of trauma care than is normally experienced by those of us who work in A&E. It is not designed for the nurse wanting to know how to resuscitate the multiply injured, but instead is a text outlining the delivery of optimum trauma care from the moment of injury to the re-integration of the patient into the community. The approach is fresh and is enhanced by the use of case studies to illustrate the points being made. The most compelling thing is that a large amount of the book seems to be written from the perspective of the patient—the patient's experience, the patient's needs. The chapters that focus on the psychological effects of trauma are perhaps the most sobering, but other elements of care that are important to the patient are also covered—elimination, tissue viability, hygiene and mouth care to name but a few. But don't be fooled into thinking that this is purely a nursing textbook—the contributors come from all disciplines involved in the care and rehabilitation of the trauma patient, with many team members writing their own chapters in the book. The book is made complete with considerations in the final section of the actual service delivery and the staff that work within the service.
This book has succeeded in making me rethink my often narrow approach to trauma care, and I have set myself the task of recommending it to all the areas within the hospital that have contact with “trauma patients”. I hope that if I ever have the misfortune to be seriously injured I am looked after by people who have a similar patient orientated approach.