This text draws heavily from the many past research and clinical successes within the Harvard system. On occasion, however, the book's editorial style may lead to confusion, eg, when statements such as "No prophylactic antibiotic has been shown to improve mortality or reduce secondary infection rates, but we often use a penicillin-like drug" occur. On the positive side, the book appropriately discusses respiratory intensive care as a multidisciplinary specialty. Topics such as coagulation, nutrition, infection, renal function, and massive transfusion, to mention only a few, are discussed. Perhaps it was an attempt to be too inclusive that led the authors on occasion to make statements so brief and sketchy that they may be of only limited value to the average practitioner.
As is commonly the case in clinical medicine, many sections of the book are controversial. Those dealing with the prevention of aspiration pneumonia are a case in point. Whereas