Written especially for patients and allied health care students by experts in the field, The Gale Encyclopedia of Surgery and Medical Tests provides in-depth coverage of approximately 450 surgical procedures, medical tests and related topics, such as anesthetics, common lab test and procedures, medications and postoperative care. Entries for medical test and surgical procedures follow a consistent format, covering definition; purpose; demographic information; diagnosis/preparation; aftercare; risks; morbidity and mortality rates; alternatives; and more. Additional features include 175 full-color illustrations and photographs; bibliographies of further reading sources; a glossary of medical terminology; appendices listing top centers for specific surgical procedures and national organizations and support groups for patients; and a comprehensive index.
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Wide ranging and clearly written, this encyclopedia speaks authoritatively without talking down to patients, their families, and caregivers. Medical-care providers will also find this a valuable reference to help explain conditions, complex procedures, and medical treatments. It will also be useful in preparing patient-education materials. The concise, easily read entries are accompanied by standard support boxes to guide users. These might include a short glossary of key terms; a description of who performs procedures and where; and a list of questions to ask the doctor, such as how many times the doctor has performed a procedure, how long the usual hospital stay will be, what the complication rate is, and what the alternative treatments are. Resources accompanying each entry include books, periodicals, organizations, and more. Definitions or descriptions begin most entries. Though not indicated by the title, there is information here on medications such as antibiotics, immunosuppressant drugs, antianxiety drugs, and many other drug categories along with mention of specific drugs within the categories. Issues beyond procedures and tests—such as hospital-acquired infections; apparatus and equipment like spinal instrumentation; and medical records types such as SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, plan) notes—are clearly discussed as entries or as indexed topics within entries. Though not lavishly illustrated, the encyclopedia does contain line drawings that augment the text where necessary. There are also a few photographs. With 14 pages of organization addresses, a general glossary from abdomen to zygote intrafallopian tube transfer(ZIFT), and a highly detailed general index, the set provides high value for its price. Its value will be seen when it does not collect dust in public, academic, and consumer-health collections. Also available as an e-book. --Kristine Huntley
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