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Acute Medical Emergencies

Acute Medical Emergencies is based on the popular Advanced Life Support Group course MedicALS (Medical Advanced Life Support) and is an invaluable resource for all doctors dealing with medical emergencies. This comprehensive guide deals with the medical aspects of diagnosis and treatment of acute emergencies. Its structured approach teaches the novice how to assess and recognise a patient in an acute condition, and how to interpret vital symptoms such as breathlessness and chest or abdominal pain. There are separate sections on interpretation of investigations, and procedures for managing the emergency. It covers procedures for acute emergencies occurring anywhere - on hospital wards or beyond. The clarity of the text, including simple line illustrations, ensure its tried and tested procedures provide clear, concise advice on recognition and management of medical emergencies.
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Table of Contents

Working Group vii Contributors to first edition viii Contributors to second edition ix Preface to second edition x Preface to first edition xi Acknowledgments xii Part I: Introduction Chapter 1 Introduction 3 Chapter 2 Recognition of the medical emergency 7 Part II: Structured Approach Chapter 3 A structured approach to medical emergencies 15 Chapter 4 Airway assessment 33 Chapter 5 Breathing assessment 43 Chapter 6 Circulation assessment 55 Chapter 7 Disability assessment 67 Part III: Presenting Complaints Chapter 8 The patient with breathing difficulties 87 Chapter 9 The patient with shock 121 Chapter 10 The patient with chest pain 147 Chapter 11 The patient with altered conscious level 159 Chapter 12 The 'collapsed' patient 187 Chapter 13 The overdose patient 203 Chapter 14 The patient with a headache 215 Chapter 15 The patient with abdominal pain 233 Chapter 16 The patient with hot red legs or cold white legs 261 Chapter 17 The patient with hot and/or swollen joints 269 Chapter 18 The patient with a rash 281 Chapter 19 The patient with acute confusion 293 Part IV: Organ Failure Chapter 20 Organ failure 309 Part V: Special Circumstances Chapter 21 The elderly patient 345 Chapter 22 Transportation of the seriously ill patient 355 Chapter 23 The pregnant patient 369 Chapter 24 The immunocompromised patient 377 Chapter 25 The patient with acute spinal cord compression 381 Part VI: Interpretation of Emergency Investigations Chapter 26 Acid-base balance and blood gas analysis 387 Chapter 27 Dysrhythmia recognition 409 Chapter 28 Chest X-ray interpretation 431 Chapter 29 Haematological investigations 437 Chapter 30 Biochemical investigations 449 Part VII: Practical Procedures Chapter 31 Practical procedures: airway and breathing 457 Chapter 32 Practical procedures: circulation 469 Chapter 33 Practical procedures: medical 477 Part VIII: Appendix Appendix: Drugs commonly used in the management of medical emergencies 487 Answers to time out questions 493 Index 505

About the Author

Advanced Life Support Group


"Nevertheless, senior nurses with training responsiblitiies will find this book an invaluable reference source and, on this basis, copies should be kept in emergency departments as well as university and hospital libraries". (Emergency Nurse, 1 March 2011)

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