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Lung Biology in Health and Disease Series, Volume 109. Treatment of the Hospitalized Cystic Fibrosis Patient. David M Orenstein, Robert C Stern. (Pp 448; $165.00). New York: Marcel Dekker Inc, 1997. 0 8247 9500 8.
As the title suggests, this volume covers the care of inpatients with cystic fibrosis, but it is not restricted to this alone. It provides a clear account of the management of all aspects of cystic fibrosis, from initial diagnosis to terminal care, with the emphasis on the practical approach. The book consists of a collection of chapters by different cystic fibrosis physicians, mostly paediatric. All the common complications of cystic fibrosis are discussed in depth and from the perspective of each author. Optimal treatment regimens are suggested in the text, supported by objective data where possible. Some of the topics overlap, such as the management of pneumothorax which is discussed by several authors including cystic fibrosis physicians and a thoracic surgeon. The text is therefore more a source of reference to be dipped into than to be read from cover to cover. The book is aimed at physicians caring for patients with cystic fibrosis and does have a paediatric slant. Certain sections would also be of interest to nurses, dieticians, pharmacists, social workers, and other health care professionals working with patients with cystic fibrosis.
The volume is almost pocket sized and contains many handy investigation and management tables to aid the busy physician. Highlights include an excellent section on pharmacokinetics which clearly explains the principles of treatment in cystic fibrosis and attempts to tease out evidence-based medicine from cystic fibrosis folklore in dosing and drug monitoring. The chapter on cystic fibrosis related diabetes mellitus (CFRDM) is also very good, explaining how the management of CFRDM contrasts with classical treatments for diabetes mellitus.
The book is American in style and content, most evident in the transplant chapter where current practice differs from that in the UK. The volume also includes a chapter presenting a personal view of one physician to the hospitalised patient with cystic fibrosis which seems out of keeping with the rest of the text. At $165.00 the book is more expensive than its contemporaries, but it does cover a wider range of topics in greater depth. It also includes numerous relevant illustrations. Overall, this short text is an excellent source of reference and will benefit all health professionals who care for patients with cystic fibrosis.—HCR