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Basics of Emergency Medicine, 3rd Edition

Review by Angela Creditt, DO and Joey Mazzei, DO

Basics of Emergency Medicine: Pediatrics, 2nd Edition

Review by Kevin Gould, MD and Stephanie Louka, MD

PressorDex, 3rd Edition

Review by Cynthia Oliva, MD

0196-0644/$-see front matter

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Basics of Emergency Medicine, 3rd Edition the newly minted provider’s partner in crime while in the
ED. When used as intended, it is indeed helpful but there
Habboushe J, Steinberg E, Shah K
EMRA, 2017 are some limitations. For example, diabetic ketoacidosis is
32 pages, $15 located under “Vomiting,” and although such patients do
ISBN 13: 978-1929854479 frequently present this way, they can also present altered
ISBN 10: 1929854471 without vomiting. However, diabetic ketoacidosis is not
mentioned in the “Altered Mental Status” section. For
While reading the introduction of Basics of Emergency reasons such as this, when a diagnosis is not listed under a
Medicine, we were immediately transported back to the time specific chief complaint, it would have been helpful to have
when we were interns. Like most new physicians, we were full an index listing each disease process. Additionally, there are
of didactic knowledge but lacking in clinical experience; this no pediatric conditions included within this guidebook.
often resulted in incomplete evaluations and disorganized Although we can appreciate the complexity of including
thoughts. With a tracking board full of various chief complaints pediatrics, it is an integral part of most EDs and all
and little understanding on how to approach them, we found residency programs. The addition of a brief pediatric-
that this book would have been exactly what we needed. specific chapter or a pediatric section integrated within
Basics of Emergency Medicine is a lightweight guidebook each existing complaint would be highly beneficial.
developed to provide newly practicing providers a brief Basics of Emergency Medicine is a concise pocket manual
clinical approach to the 20 most common chief complaints that will help guide any new emergency practitioner, from
found in a typical emergency department (ED). It begins with medical student to advanced practice provider or intern. Its
a pictorial table of contents organized by these common chief ability to help organize thoughts, determine appropriate
complaints and their coordinated pages. Each chapter is one patient evaluations, establish a differential diagnosis, and
page long and packs a hefty dose of clinical knowledge, deliver efficient treatment makes this book essential.
including differential diagnosis, history, physical examination,
evaluation, possible consultations, and treatment. What is Angela Creditt, DO
unique and incredibly useful about the manual is that for each Joey Mazzei, DO
complaint, it also includes pertinent red flags, general pearls Virginia Commonwealth University
and pitfalls, indications to use MDCalc, and our personal Richmond, VA
favorite, key documentation points. With this book, a student
or practitioner can note the chief complaint of a patient,
review the section for that particular complaint, and then Basics of Emergency Medicine: Pediatrics, 2nd
quickly organize thoughts and approach. The inexperienced Edition
provider will learn what questions to ask, “can’t miss” red
flags, and diagnoses to keep in mind, all before entering the Habboushe J, Steinberg E, Cantor R, et al
room. After treating a patient, the provider will then be able to EMRA, 2015
rereview the section with what he or she has learned, thereby 32 pages, $15
ISBN-13: 978-1929854486
forming an appropriate evaluation, treatment plan, and the
ISBN-10: 192985448X
all-important patient presentation.
As pointed out by the authors, this is not a Comfort in caring for pediatric patients can vary greatly,
comprehensive review. This pocket manual is meant to be depending on how frequently you treat them. Even

802 Annals of Emergency Medicine Volume 71, no. 6 : June 2018

Book and Media Reviews

common complaints such as fever are nuanced, the their child’s prognosis. For this, one will be better off
evaluation varying greatly by age. There’s a delicate balance returning to cornerstone texts.
in investigating that which is truly concerning and reducing Overall, this is a great pocket reference for learners in
the real risks of overtesting. For those new to pediatric pediatric emergency medicine or the seasoned emergency
emergency medicine (medical students, interns, and medicine provider who treats pediatric patients less
rotating residents) or those who treat pediatric patients less frequently. It fills a gap not provided by other print or
frequently, EMRA’s Basics of Emergency Medicine: Pediatrics digital resources, but do not expect it to become a
is a great resource. substitute for the staples in your pediatric emergency
To be sure, this is more of a quick reference pocket medicine arsenal.
guide than a book, but this format can be the most
helpful when one might need on-the-fly help recalling Stephanie Louka, MD
the differential diagnosis for vomiting in a neonate. The Kevin Gould, MD
pocket guide is organized logically by chief complaint from Department of Emergency Medicine
head to toe, giving the reader a quick rundown of red flags, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
pertinent findings on the history and physical, evidence- Richmond, VA
based recommended laboratory tests and imaging, and
likely disposition. To round things out, it includes a few
pearls, potential pitfalls, and even documentation hints.
The chart of normal vital signs by age is positioned at the PressorDex, 3rd Edition
front of the guide for easy access. Laceration repair is Greenwood JC, Emlet L, Mallemat H, et al
covered in just the right depth to get a novice through the EMRA, 2017
procedure. Often a topic difficult to approach, 124 pages, $27
nonaccidental trauma (suspected child abuse) is addressed ISBN-13: 978-1929854462
in a step-by-step manner, tackling medical, social, and ISBN-10: 1929854463
legal considerations. Unique and exceptional to this guide
are the MDCalc icons, which correspond to the famed PressorDex is much more than what its simple title implies.
online calculator tool of the same name, reminding readers There is certainly a great review of vasopressors. It provides
to use evidence-based diagnostic decision tools when information on dosing and indications from push-dose
warranted. pressors to infusions; however, it is much more than just this
Its incredible compactness is both this guide’s greatest small set of medications. As their mission stated, the authors
strength and weakness. Although the guide offers broad have created a “simplified, goal-directed therapeutic guide to
differential diagnoses for a variety of chief complaints, it the myriad medications required by those who are critically ill.”
falls short in several areas. Often the guide suggests The book covers a wide variety of topics, which are color
obtaining diagnostic testing but does not include what coded for easy access, and their associated pharmacologic
pathologic signs would confirm the diagnosis (ie, posterior therapies. Topics are broken down by organ systems,
fat pad on elbow radiograph¼condylar fracture of the including a section for pediatrics. Conditions range from
humerus). Additionally, the guide makes antibiotic structural problems, such as aortic insults, to more systemic
recommendations by source and drug class, but stops short issues such as tumor lysis syndrome. Additionally, there is
of selecting specific agents or duration. You will still need to an excellent toxicology review that covers common
reference your EMRA Antibiotic Guide, UptoDate, or overdoses and rare exposures. At the end of each chapter,
Harriett Lane Handbook for this one. there are valuable pearls of clinical knowledge, such as
Other topics surprisingly absent include the stages of “Bromocriptine may worsen serotonin syndrome if
dehydration, the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied misdiagnosed as neuroleptic malignant syndrome.” There is
Research Network head trauma rules, syncope evaluation, even a section at the end titled “Protocols.” This section has
and the Philadelphia/Rochester fever guidelines. Yes, this not expanded since the last edition, but provides an
might have added a few extra pages, but because these are excellent guide to targeted temperature management in
common complaints in the pediatric emergency comatose survivors of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.
department, their inclusion would be helpful. PressorDex provides quick access for critical information
Finally, although this guide does a good job answering in less commonly encountered conditions such as eclampsia
the "what" when it comes to a child’s illness, it does not and pit viper envenomation. Additionally, it provides easy
answer the "why" that so many parents ask in regard to access to important things you do not want to rely on your

Volume 71, no. 6 : June 2018 Annals of Emergency Medicine 803