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Alphabetically arranged entries provide up-to-date information on health conditions and diseases, body systems and their functions, surgical procedures, medication, diagnostic procedures, preventive medicine, and first aid.
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Health and medicine are among the most common subjects leading patrons to the library. Organized by body system, this four-volume encyclopedia provides basic overviews of the human body and the diseases and conditions that may affect its function. Volume 1 covers the ears, nose, mouth, and throat; the eyes; the integumentary system; the nervous system; the musculoskeletal system; and pain and pain management. Volume 2 is the cardiovascular system, the blood and lymph, the pulmonary system, the immune system and allergies, infectious diseases, and cancer. The gastrointestinal system, the endocrine system, the urinary system, the reproductive system, and psychiatric disorders and psychological conditions comprise volume 3, and volume 4 has sections for topics such as preventive and alternative medicine, drugs, nutrition, and emergency first aid. Appendixes offer information about vital signs, advance directives, and medical specialties as well as a glossary of medical terms and abbreviations, a time line of modern medicine, and concise, notable biographies. Each volume has its own index, and there is a cumulative index in volume 4. Within the volumes, each section begins with diagrams and an overview of the anatomy and physiology of the organ system. Alphabetical entries covering individual topics follow. Entries for diseases and conditions include causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, prognosis, risk factors, and preventive measures. Those for surgical procedures cover an explanation of the procedure, risks and complications, outlook, and lifestyle modifications. Entries about drugs discuss the type of medication, how it works, common uses, and risks and side effects. Those for diagnostic tests cover the reasons for the test, preparations, how the test is done, recovery, and risks and complications. All entries have cross-references to related material within the same section. The entries in the emergency-first-aid section contain instructional material, but users will need to take a class to perform most of these techniques effectively. The information about what to tell a dispatcher when calling 911, how to protect oneself, and what not to do at an accident scene is very useful. This encyclopedia is a good choice for libraries that do not own the more comprehensive Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine (3d ed., 2006). The organization may be confusing for users accustomed to the traditional alphabetical format, but the index will help them locate the material that they need. Bibel, Barbara
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