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B S P Chin, M K Davies, and G Y H Lip. (Pp 76; £14.95.) Royal Society of Medicine Press, 2002. ISBN 1-85315-487-3.
Heart failure currently accounts for 5% of all medical admissions. All clinicians, irrespective of their specialty, will come into contact with patients with heart failure at some point in their career. There have been many advances in the treatment of heart failure and it is important for clinicians not only to be aware of these, but also to translate them into their clinical practice.
This book by Chin, Davies, and Lip is 76 pages long and covers in a logical fashion different aspects of heart failure starting from its aetiology right through to its management. It is easy to read and covers all the important studies. It is extremely well laid out with numerous diagrams including x-rays, ECGs, colour flow Dopplers, and echocardiograms. Whenever possible, the authors have taken care to summarise information into tables or boxes to make it easier for the reader to follow. The authors also provide a list of acronyms, a fashion started by cardiologists, and appendices covering guidelines for the management of heart failure in primary and secondary care. On the inside cover is a very useful diagnostic flow chart.
The layout of the book, the style of writing, and the accurate and up-to-date nature of the information contained within it make this an essential book to have on personal bookshelves, particularly for all doctors, junior and senior, involved in the care of patients with heart failure. In addition, the book would serve as an excellent primer for the increasing number of heart failure specialist nurses.
The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.
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