Some four decades ago, as a recently qualifi ed doctor, I managed victims of trauma without the benefi t of trauma systems, without well tried management protocols and without today ’ s imaging technology. Digital imaging did not exist and “ urgent ” X – ray films were often still wet from the chemical processor, making interpretation less than optimal. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging were still prototypes or on the physicist’s drawing board and ultrasound scanning was in its infancy. Digital, whole – body scanners, such as the Lodox Statscanner, were something approaching science fi ction. In the intervening period between then and now, trauma care, like many other aspects of medicine, has progressed immeasurably, as has the part played by imaging technology and techniques.
It is incumbent on all who provide emergency, in – hospital trauma care to be aware of the current range of diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that radiology and radiologists bring to the management of trauma. This short, but comprehensive book, the ABC of Imaging in Trauma, will do exactly that. After reading this book, medical personnel will have an understanding of current imaging concepts and their clinical relevance, a point well made by the book ’ s editors in their introductory chapter. They also go on to point out that the fundamental goals of imaging are assisting staff in quickly identifying the range and severity of injuries and, where possible, intervening to arrest life – threatening haemorrhage. They also endorse the point: imaging techniques are there to complement clinical skills and acumen, not to replace them.
The fundamental aim of this book is to act as a practical guide on the scope and interpretation of emergency imaging procedures used in assessing the severely injured. It more than achieves this in a host of ways, the more outstanding being: the key points summary boxes at the beginning of each chapter; discussion of relevant clinical and demographic information before going on to discuss imaging techniques; and the richness and quality of the illustrations and line diagrams. These factors also add to the ease of finding relevant information.
It is of some import that the last four chapters of this book cover paediatric trauma, imaging trauma in pregnancy, ballistics and blast injury and imaging of major incidents and mass casualty situations. Managing trauma in children and pregnant women can be particularly trying. This book provides a systematic review and excellent short guide to imaging techniques in both situations. Major incidents are now almost commonplace. Knowledge of the role of imaging in casualty triage in such incidents, is one key to saving lives. This book provides that knowledge.
Those who become victims of severe trauma, whether civilian or military, will have the best outcome if cared for by experienced, multidisciplinary teams working to well – tried protocols. One of these protocols is what this excellent book is about: a guide to the place of the many forms of imaging available in trauma management algorithms.
All who are interested in, or have a role in hospital – based trauma care, should read this book. It will make them better carers. My own anticipation is that the next edition will be even better.
P. Roberts, CBE MS FRCS
Professor of Military Surgery Emeritus
Royal College of Surgeons of England