3 out of 4 stars
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Isolating seems a reliable means of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Some don't have that option, however - especially not health-care professionals. Some of these frontline workers have taken time out of their schedules to share their observations and experiences.
COVID-19: Companion Handbook - A Case-Based Approach by Dr. Chowdhury H. Assan is a compilation of papers written by doctors from around the world. Among other themes, the authors consider the effectiveness of different drugs in treating COVID-19, the impact of the virus on various organs and systems, and the protection of health-care workers. Each paper is based on cases these doctors have been involved with, so this is the absolute latest information. The book is a means of getting crucial knowledge out to other doctors practically in real time.
In that connection, I was impressed by how quickly this has been put together. One drawback of that, however, was that some of the papers seemed rushed. Some contained typos that even one careful read-through should have eliminated. Inconsistencies could often be found close together. Perhaps appropriately enough, the disease itself caused a lot of trouble here, manifesting as "COVID19", "COVID 19", "Covid-19", and even "COVOD-19".
With regard to other medical terms, it was not always easy or possible to find explanations of the various abbreviations used. The following sentence is a fairly typical example. "A 62-year-old male with a history of HTN, HLD, CKD, nephrotic syndrome, hypothyroidism, immunosuppression from steroid and cyclosporine presented to the ED with a complaint of SOB and diarrhea on 4/24/2020 and had recently tested positive for COVID 19 on 4/22/20 after being seen for a virtual visit on 4/21/20." This style is acceptable, however, in that this book is clearly aimed at medical professionals.
I would, therefore, thoroughly recommend it to anyone in the health-care field. A layperson who wouldn't be daunted by the medical language might also find it of interest. It would be well worth making this book accessible to a lay audience in that it contains so much vital information. Anyone feeling complacent about their vulnerability to the virus should be sobered by facts like this: "People with COVID-19 as young as 30 are experiencing strokes even when their symptoms were mild."
This is not groundless alarmism; one major asset of this book is that it presents evidence-based information. Each article is thoroughly referenced and illustrated with photographs. The images showing the damage the virus can cause are fascinating, if sometimes disturbing. Many detailed diagrams in colour are also included. This attention to detail is accompanied by skilful handling of the big picture - the chapter arrangement is logical and effective.
This all made for an informative read. Some more polishing is needed, but on the strength of its numerous positive aspects and the more accurate and consistent articles, I rate this book three out of four stars. It will arm doctors and others with vital, up-to-date information about COVID-19.
COVID19: Companion Handbook: A Case Based Approach
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