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Southern African Journal of Critical Care (Online)

On-line version ISSN 2078-676X
Print version ISSN 1562-8264

South. Afr. j. crit. care (Online) vol.31 n.2 Pretoria Nov. 2015




Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy in Trauma: An Evidence-based Approach



Edited by Heleen van Aswegen and Brenda Morrow. London: Imperial College Press, 2015. ISBN 978-1-78326-651-7

Trauma is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide, affecting both adult and paediatric populations. The objective of this book is to provide physiotherapists at all stages of their careers with current evidence-based information to guide their physiotherapeutic management of both adults and children with trauma-related injuries. Information hasbeendrawnfrom published researchaswellastheclinical expertise of the contributors to provide readers with a comprehensive bookthat details the physiotherapist's role and management of trauma-related injuries.

Chapter 1 examines the physiological response to trauma, deepening understanding of the physiological basis of the problems trauma patients often face. The following chapter highlights the important anatomical differences between children and adultsand the clinical implications thereof. Of particular relevance to the South African setting is the chapter on immunosuppressive diseases and trauma. This comprehensive chapter covers physiotherapy modalities, exercise prescription and both subjective and objective outcome measures that may be used in the management of trauma patients. Commonly encountered traumatic injuries such as burn, head, spinal cord, multiple orthopaedic and blunt penetrating injuries are presented in the following chapters. The final chapter examines the quality of life of trauma (and critical illness) survivors and its management.

The clinical chapters provide a concise but thorough review of the mechanism of injury, and medical and surgical management. The contributors present the specific objectives of physiotherapy, general precautions and contraindications, recommended treatment and outcome measures and, importantly, specific paediatric considerations. Each chapter also contains a clinical case study for each of adults and children, providing the reader with an example of the clinical application of the theory presented. The paediatric considerations detailed in each chapter are useful, especially to those working in this field. Key take-home points are highlighted throughout in'Key Message' boxes and the use of summary tables for detailed information helps the reader with quick referencing. While the focus of this book is primarily on the acute management of trauma-related injuries, where information is beyond the scope of the book, the reader is directed to additional resources.

The information provided in this book is practical and presented in such a manner that physiotherapists, whether qualified for one or many years or undergraduate students, will come away with comprehensive, evidenced-based understanding of the physiotherapist's role and management in adults and children with trauma. It can also be used as a reference source for physiotherapists who have to treat patients with injuries that they do not normally encounter, and who require a quick refresh on how to approach and implement treatment.

This well-written book provides with reader with comprehensive, practical information for a holistic, evidence-based approach to the management of both children and adults with traumatic injuries. It is a worthwhile investment for anyone working in the trauma and hospital setting and with an interest in cardiopulmonary physiotherapy.


Alison Lupton-Smith

University of Cape Town; Wessel de Kock Physiotherapists

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License