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Self-assessment colour review of cardiothoracic critical care
  1. J E POHL
  1. Leicester General Hospital NHS Trust
  2. Gwendolen Road, Leicester LE5 4PW, UK

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    Self-assessment colour review of cardiothoracic critical care, RC Karmy-Jones, HM Horst, eds. Manson Publishing, 1998. £14.95, paperback

    It is not clear what class of British medical reader is addressed best by this American book. The preponderance of injuries inflicted by violence brings to mind battle surgeons, not a well represented group in peace times. There is a wealth of information, largely of a high standard but the X-ray illustrations are often too small and hence too indistinct to sustain the intention for the book to work as a quiz. It is difficult to maintain concentration and peak interest when the answers are lengthy and detailed enough to aspire to the completeness of a textbook entry, even where the instructions for the reader specify brevity.

    Apart from information related to drugs, which is sometimes obsolescent and in the case of flecainide (recommended specifically for ventricular arrhythmias) plainly wrong, a careful reading of the answer sections supplemented by the illustrations provided as part of the questions would complete a reasonable course of instructions spanning the whole range from middle registrar to young consultant, albeit at the price of reversing the intended procedure.

    This reviewer regrets that this book can only be recommended with reservations to British trainees.

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