This concise text uses a case-study format to highlight the major problems encountered in adult intensive care units. Each chapter begins with a brief discussion of a topic, which is followed by one or more case studies. The reader is then guided through a stepwise, clinically oriented solution. This format, therefore, serves an educational function that is not provided by standard textbooks or by manuals of therapy.
The information presented is selective rather than comprehensive. Each chapter is devoted to a broad area of intensive care, such as mechanical ventilation, cardiac arrhythmias, cardiac failure, acute renal failure, or nutritional support. The introduction of each topic and the accompanying case studies are limited to selected clinical situations. Particular attention is paid to frequent, troublesome, or controversial problems.
On occasion, however, the approach would be aided by presenting alternative points of view. Examples in which other approaches could be presented include the