The preface to the third edition of what has become a standard text in this field indicates that the book was written for both beginning students and experts in respiratory care, with emphasis placed on concepts and principles. The author and his contributors have succeeded admirably in this goal; there is something in this book for everyone. The book comprises 20 chapters and three appendices, 16 authored by Dr Petty alone and one chapter coauthored with Louise Net. The remaining chapters and appendices are written by present or former members of the pulmonary section of the University of Colorado Medical Center; thus, the book clearly reflects the principles and practices espoused by this leading center.
The first section comprises seven chapters that outline the principles in the diagnosis and management of respiratory failure. The second section deals with the clinical applications of these techniques to the adult respiratory distress syndrome,