This book covers a wide array of hematologic problems commonly encountered in the daily practice of critical care and emergency medicine. Unfortunately, the symptoms and signs associated with underlying hematologic disorders are frequently rather unspecific and confounding; furthermore, the clinical course of patients admitted to intensive care units with such disorders can be fulminant, warranting prompt diagnosis. This book recognizes the importance of accurate and speedy interpretation of symptoms in that the text is symptom oriented rather than disease oriented. Put another way, the reader confronted with a particular clinical problem or symptom will be guided step by step to the possible underlying disorder(s).
The scenarios considered include critical illness in patients with anemia, leukopenia, leukocytosis, abnormal platelet count, and severe transfusion reactions. For each circumstance, factors relevant to symptom interpretation are fully discussed. In addition, helpful diagnostic algorithms are presented in the form of flow charts that will assist in decision making regarding the need for further investigations. The closing chapter is devoted to the drug-induced hematologic disorders. Although the book is intended mainly for intensivists, other specialists will find much information of value for their daily practice.