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Key topics in accident and emergency medicine, 2nd edn
  1. J M Butler

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    R Evans, D Burke. (Pp 344; £24.99). Bios Scientific, 2001. ISBN 1-85996-124-X

    This is the second edition of a book that will be already familiar to most trainees and consultants in emergency medicine. Speaking from personal experience this excellent text remains an essential read for anyone planning to sit the FRCS(A&E) Edin examination and be successful! As a trainee preparing for the FFAEM examination it will undoubtedly prove equally as valuable once again.

    The book provides concise, well structured articles on essential clinical topics relevant to the practice of emergency medicine in the UK. It is not intended as a comprehensive textbook but refreshingly focuses on specific clinical areas of common subjects.

    The book takes the reader alphabetically through a progression of 94 topics covering everything from “adder bites” to “wrist injuries” with each topic covering no more than five to six pages. Each section covers the essential facts, clearly presented with a strong emphasis on the clinical aspects relevant to emergency medicine practice. The format is easily readable with each section subdivided to include the salient features of epidemiology, clinical symptoms and signs, investigations, treatment and procedures as well as the medicolegal aspects. Pertinent references and indexed related topics are given at the end of each chapter including web site addresses where appropriate.

    The new edition has been updated to reflect the changing practice of emergency medicine in the UK including greater coverage of paediatric issues. New sections have been written on current issues such as ecstasy and γ-hydroxybutyrate use and on controversial clinical techniques such as rapid sequence intubation. The new text reflects the development of the specialty including chapters referring to the BAEM guidelines on the management of radiation casualties and chemical incidents. There is even a chapter listing the FFAEM core curriculum to act as a sobering reminder to any trainee preparing to sit the exit examination.

    Much of the content will be revision for experienced clinicians but the design and layout allows the text to be used for rapid access to important facts. The book fits easily into a locker or cupboard in the emergency department and can be used as an immediate reference during busy clinical days. During my time as an SpR I have found this text to be particularly useful as a teaching aid for SHOs (especially for those occasional sessions that occur at short notice).

    This latest edition to the successful Bios series provides an excellent reference and revision text for busy clinicians, especially anyone preparing for postgraduate examinations.