It has been 8 years since the publication of the third edition of Current Therapy of Trauma. Although the operative aspects of trauma care have remained relatively unchanged over this time, new diagnostic modalities and critical care therapies have, in many ways, considerably altered the way we care for patients. This fourth edition reflects many of these advances, without sacrificing the simplicity and brevity for which this text is known.
This edition is conveniently organized into sections focusing on prehospital care, emergency department care, intensive care unit care, and the care of specific injuries organized by body region. Compared with the previous edition, the fourth features an expanded section on trauma management principles and special problems that includes new chapters on geriatric trauma, trauma rehabilitation, and communicable disease hazards and universal precautions. The "Trauma Systems" section has also been updated with such timely chapters as Trauma and Managed Care, the Economics of Trauma Care, the Role of the Trauma Nurse Coordinator, and a much-improved and broadened focus on trauma quality improvement. Within the "Prehospital Trauma Care" section, some chapters (eg, Victim Extrication, Splinting) have been entirely eliminated and rightly so, as these are probably of little use to the practicing trauma clinician. The Airway Control chapter has also been eliminated from the fourth edition, and while this chapter was perhaps excessively long in the third edition, it probably does deserve more focus and attention than it is given in the current edition.