A primer, according to Webster's dictionary, is a book used in teaching children... hence an elementary text-book. The exemplary fashion in which the author has succeeded in presenting the fundamentals of electrolytes and acid-base balance in a logical and easy-to-follow manner is attested to by the number of editions and translations since the book was first published in 1959.
In this, the sixth edition, the monograph retains its general format, but its text has been expanded and the size of the book increased to 6 × 9½ in, so it can no longer be carried conveniently in a coat pocket for easy reference. The book is organized in five sections. The first three sections deal with extracellular water (section 1) and syndromes associated with water and sodium disturbances (sections 2 and 3). The fourth section, composing more than half of the book, deals with clinical syndromes due to disturbances of