This book, representative of the type of publication usually entitled Proceedings... or Transactions..., is the compilation of papers presented at a medical meeting. This kind of work is a mixed blessing. On the positive side, it should provide for timely dissemination of information to the interested reader. Unfortunately, this volume reaches my desk more than three years after the meeting. This delay diminishes its value: many of the then-new advances are now standard operations in many intensive care and pulmonary units. Understanding the tedious delays inherent in compiling a multi-authored volume, we cannot harshly criticize either the editor or the publisher.
On the negative side, this type of publication tends to legitimize research work without benefit of peer review and is frequently uneven in presentation. Some publications of this type attempt to provide peer-review process by publishing the question-and-answer sessions that occur so frequently at these meetings, but the discussion