Lahey Specialist Revises Textbook on Care of Critically Ill Patients

Lahey Specialist Revises Textbook on Care of Critically Ill Patients 

The chairman of the Department of Surgical Critical Care at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center has coedited the third edition of the textbook he helped create – which has served for 16 years as a valuable resource for practitioners who care for the critically ill.

John M. O’Donnell, MD, who also is director of Lahey’s Surgical Intensive Care Unit, and Flávio E. Nácul, MD, PhD, who practices Surgical Critical Care Medicine at Pró-Cardíaco Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are the editors of Surgical Intensive Care Medicine, Third Edition. The two met during Nácul’s fellowship training and discussed the value of creating a textbook that would provide a comprehensive review of the field of surgical intensive care medicine.

The first edition of their book was published in 2000 by Springer Publishing Company, the second edition in 2010, and the third edition in 2016. Regular updates of medical textbooks are vital, Dr. O’Donnell explained. “We don’t take care of our patients the way we did 10 years ago,” he said. “The concepts are all the same, but advances in medicine have resulted in better changes in the way we approach sicker patients.”

All three editions of the book have chapters that were written by nationally and internationally recognized researchers, speakers and practitioners in critical care medicine, and edited by Drs. O’Donnell and Nácul. The third edition contains 63 chapters that have been largely rewritten to include the many important advances that have been made over the past few years.

An important feature of the newest edition is the geographic diversity of the authors, most of whom are based in the United States but who represent countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Editing such a comprehensive textbook is a labor-intensive task, Dr. O’Donnell said, but he felt compelled to share the wealth of knowledge he has accumulated in more than 30 years of medical practice. The goal of the book is to help educate and inform medical students, residents, critical care fellows, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and physicians caring for the critically ill.

Topics covered in the book include tissue health, long-term outcomes after intensive care, care of patients who have had cancer surgery, technology such as bedside ultrasonography and echocardiography, delirium in critically ill patients, gastrointestinal problems after surgery, and much more. The book is available in print and also as an e-book, and those interested may purchase and download the entire book or just certain chapters.

For the third edition of the textbook, Dr. O’Donnell said a goal was to include younger writers working with senior authors to gain two valuable perspectives in caring for critically ill patients. “So many people were involved in this book, and we are grateful to all of them,” he said. “I think this book will help everyone from the most sophisticated to the most junior. I feel that we are doing something good for the specialty and for our patients.”