In this era of the coronary care unit, the versatility and problems of electronic instrumentation have been the focus of attention. Indeed, to the casual visitor to the newly formed coronary care unit, the total emphasis appears to be placed on this monitoring and alarm equipment. The fact remains that whether the patient survives in this electronically elegant environment to any greater extent than on an open ward, depends much more on the people who are there (nurses and paramedical personnel), than on the fancy machines. The medical personnel's training and experience is paramount to success.
Comprehensive Cardiac Care, a readable manual written by nurses and physicians from Duke University Medical Center, is a welcome textbook designed specifically for coronary care personnel. Concise but not over-simplified discussions of the anatomy, physiology, and pathology necessary for nurses and their helpers to cope with the problems of patients under observation for myocardial