Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters - vol. XI - n. 3 - September 1998


David N. Herndon, 597 pages, illustrated
Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 1996. $90.
ISBN 0-7020-1827-9

Dr Herndon has succeeded in producing the definitive text on modern burn care. The book is comprehensive, and covers all aspects of burn care from the pre-hospital phase, to management of the acute injury, to reconstruction and long-term rehabilitation. A major strength of the text is its emphasis on the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the thermally injured patient. Dr Herndon has carefully pruned out extraneous information and avoided unnecessary repetition, so that the salient features come through loud and clear. His meticulous attention to detail and his liberal, but judicious, use of tables and illustrations ensure that key concepts leave an indelible mark on the reader. Dr Hemdon has taken painstaking measures to make sure that the reader develops a firm grasp on the fundamental principles of burn care, and at the same time gains ibsight into the latest scientific research on each topic. The text is subdivided into eight major sections that address immediate care, the burn wound, inhalation injury, response to injury, non-thermal injuries, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and psychosocial issues. The section on the response to injury provides up-to-date information on the metabolic and immunologic implications of burn injury. The section on non-thermal injuries includes cogent discussions of electrical, chemical, cold, and radiation injuries. In general, the text is highly readable, cohesive, and concise. Dr Herndon has artfully blended basic scientific knowledge with clinical applications and principles. In summary, this text represents the standard of modern burn care. It will serve as an indispensable reference for physicians, nurses, and anyone who takes care of these critically ill patients.


M. Masellis and S.W.A. Gunn, 352 pages, Kluwer Academic
Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London, 1992. ISBN 0-7923-8804-6

The health professions are continually developing effective techniques of burns and mass casualty management. In parallel, fire prevention and firefighting techniques have developed considerably in most communities. It is therefore surprising that, while aiming at the same objective, the two sectors have seldom come together. The Mediterranean Burns Club is a professional organization that brings together persons concerned with burns therapy and with fire safety in all forms. Identified by the United Nations as a premier scientific body in its field within the programme of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, it initiated the first international gathering of specialists in burns as a surgical, clinical problem, and of counterparts dealing with tires as a social, disaster problem. This novel approach and symbiosis proved timely and successful. This, the resulting book, reflects the commitment of all concerned to the reduction of fire disasters and the improvement of burns therapy.
Price: US$ 125, GB£ 82, NI-Gu 200


M. Masellis and S.W.A. Gunn, 603 pages, Kluwer Academic
Publishers, Dordrecht, Boston, London, 1995

This is an extended and logical sequel to the previous (1992) book by the same editors, expanding and strengthening the original interrelated concepts of specialized burn treatment, firefighting services and disaster management. Following the unmitigated success of its predecessor, it was with considerable intellectual curiosity that one awaited the present volume. In number of pages and in chapters this has more than doubled, but it is particularly in its scientific contents that the book is destined to find its niche as the prime compilation on burns therapy, fire prevention and disaster management, in a single, very readable volume.
An expression of the Second International Conference on Burns and Fire Disasters, the book is the product of two pioneers in the field, Professor Michele Masellis, Head of the Burn Centre in Palermo, Italy, and Professor William Gunn, former Head of the World Health Organization Emergency Relief Operations and current President of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine. It covers 101 chapters divided into 18 sections, as follows: The burn and fire problem; Fire disasters in society; Burn prevention; Intensive care; Immunology of burns; Complications of burns; Burn infection care; Burn surgery; Biornaterials; Burn sear management; Electrical burns; Hand burns; Rehabilitation; Burn centres; Forest fires; Industrial fire disasters; and International cooperation.
The busy practitioner preoccupied with burn techniques and clinical details will find unusual but professionally not unrelated information on emergency rescue techniques, fire prevention, satellite communication systems, disaster management, simulation exercises, forest fires, industrial explosions, international regulatory standardization, the work of the World Health Organization in humanitarian emergencies, and many more.
The contents and the outlook of the book justify its subtitle "Perspectives 2000", and one learns from a footnote in the introduction that due to the expansion of its fields and its vision, the Mediterranean Burns Club - originator of these books - has modified its name to Mediterranean Club for Burns and Fire Disasters. This is a logical nomenclatorial extension, but it is salutary that the word Club has been maintained, as one of the principal strengths of this imaginative international association is that its members look upon it and collaborate in it as their friendly, professional club.
According to the information on the jacket, the Canadian Medical Journal had called the first volume "a blockbuster book that should be in every medical library", The comment is equally valid for this volume.
Available from: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
In USA and Canada: P.O. Box 358, Accord Station, Hingham Ma 02018-0358, USA
All other countries: P.O. Box 322, Dordrecht, 3300 AH Holland, The Netherlands
Price: US$ 175, GB£ 115


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