The medical emergency is the crucible of clinical medicine. It is the white-hot moment of truth when there is no margin for consultation with journals and books or dialogue with colleagues. It is a time for swift, decisive action—when one's head and hands may stand between life and death.
For this reason there are perhaps a dozen books on management of acute medical problems. Internist Sharpe and surgeon Marx and 41 contributors have wrought a skillful text with broad-ranging discussions of most common emergent situations: medical, pediatric, and surgical.
They have adopted a practical format familiar to clinicians. They ask the following questions: "What is it?" "What to look for?" "What to consider?" "What to do immediately?" "What not to do?" "What to expect?" The response forms the text.
Syntax is well-ordered; physiologic explanations are crisp and pertinent; treatment methods are lucid and complete. There are many roads to Rome,