Annals ofBurns and Fire Disasters - vol. IX - n. 3 - September 1996


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 Bums 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 disaster-, in society; Burn prevention; Intensive care; Immunology of burns; Complications of burns; Burn infection care; Burn surgery; Biomaterials; Burn scar management; Electrical burns; Hand burns; Rehabilitation; Burn centres; Forest fires; Industrial fire disasters; and International cooperation.
The busy practitioner preoccupied with bum 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 sub-title "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, GBF 115

The Management of Burns and Fire Disasters: Perspectives 2000
published for the MBC

"... This is a monumental book..."
Centre for Research on Epidemiology of Disaster Louvain University

"...Very interesting... Added it to the Disaster Research Centre Library so that others can benefitfrom its content... "
Disaster Research Centre,University of Delaware

"...Impressive book on burns..."
Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research, University of Pittsburgh

"...Greatest gift to all involved in Disaster Medicine as well as to victims of burn andfire disasters. It surely will befor a long time a standard text book on the topic..."
Postgraduate Medical Institute, Prague

"...The Management of Burns and Fire Disaster: Perspectives 2000 - a very readable book which will be very useful. It is exactly the kind of book I wish we had had two years ago, when the gas explosion in Sarajevo became an epidemic..."
International Organization for Migration, Switzerland

"... The Management ofBurns and Fire Disasters.. Perspectives 2000. This is a perfect reference book for reduction offire disasters and improvement ofburns therapy..."
Baskent University, Ankara

"... Excellent book on burns andfire disasters ... A superb contribution to this difficultfleld ofmedicine"
Departmen t of Surgery, University of Illinois at Chigago

"An excellent contribution which should be widely read."
International Federation of Surgical Colleges

"Clinical experiences ... and surgical consideration which present the state ofthe art and provide perspectives for thefuture."
Turin Burns Centre

"An enormous compilation of recent studies on burn management."
Department of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania

"... Excellent book..."
Chinese Academy of Medical Science

Following The Management of Mass Burn Casualties and Fire Disasters in 1992, we now have - once again published by Kluwer Academic Publishers - The Management of Burns and Fire Disasters: Perspectives 2000, a natural sequel to its predecessor that constitutes the ideal continuation of a series destined to develop still further as new breakthroughs are achieved.
The topics considered range from the main subject of burns pathology to the ever present and ever more urgent problem of the potential causes of mass burns, a theme which - though falling within the wider category of disasters - presents specific aspects that merit a separate chapter.
All aspects of bums, from prevention to rehabilitation, are exhaustively discussed. No angle is neglected of this complex and wide-ranging pathology, which is treated in a series of contributions that reflect the state of the art, with frequent groundbreaking innovations.
The various papers originate from a wide variety of countries and schools of thought, thus forming a synthetic statement on the current state of research throughout the world and on the direction of future studies.
Clinical experiences, epidemiological studies, management proposals and surgical considerations - documenting the present and pointing towards the future - all contribute to the volume's fascinating and exhaustive contents.
However, the really original aspect of this work, which to all intents must be regarded as an up-to-date burns manual, consists in the treatment of subjects not normally considered in such a context - subjects so closely linked to burns pathology that they should be considered complementary to it.
Problems related to fire in general or to particular occurrences such as forest fires or industrial fire disasters cannot be ignored by professionals involved in the field of burns, as it is inevitable that situations will arise in which there are large numbers of casualties. A high level of preparedness is essential if optimal results are to be achieved.
Likewise, the aspect of international cooperation in the event of a disaster is of prime importance. Only by collaboration at international level can major disasters be effectively handled.
The interest of health operators in new sectors that may appear to be extraneous but are in fact contiguous is a cultural enrichment which physicians cannot ignore if they are to extend their professional horizons and adopt a multidisciplinary approach to what were formerly considered to be primarily specialist matters.
This volume is thus addressed to bums experts, who beyond their own specific discipline will here be able to acquire useful and interesting information about other closely related disciplines, and to all professionals and voluntary workers involved in Civil Defence operations, who will find in the topics considered the relationship between an event with which they are all too familiar and the damage, frequently not fully appreciated, that the event may inflict. Their knowledge of the problem will thus be further extended and they will be better equipped to plan rescue strategies.
The editors have magnificently succeeded in their intention, namely to stimulate and improve the treatment of burns and to introduce and develop the philosophy of burn disasters, The authoritative and established reputations of the various Authors guarantee the scientific validity and the high qualitative level of the contents.
The result is an up-to-date and irreplaceable manual that merits wide diffusion and a place on the shelves of the libraries in all medical and Civil Defence structures and organizations.

Gilberto Magliacani
Director of Turin Burns Centre, Italy


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 bums 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 fires as a social, disaster prob-lem. 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, NLGu 200


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