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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014


Allegheny General Hospital Physician Charts Changing Course for Emergency Care in New Book

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

JAMA cites book by Arvind Venkat, MD, as ‘timely, highly relevant and well-written”
PITTSBURGH – (October 27, 2011) Increasingly, a busy emergency room serves as Americans’ gateway to medical care. As Arvind Venkat, MD, treated patients as an emergency medicine physician at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), he realized that as the patient experience changed, emergency physicians also needed to dramatically change their approach to care.
The result is a book edited by Dr. Venkat, “Challenging and Emerging Conditions in Emergency Medicine,” published by John Wiley and sons and reviewed in the Oct. 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA.)
The JAMA reviewer called the book “timely, highly relevant and well-written…should have a place on every emergency medicine physician’s reading list.”
Dr. Venkat says he began work on the book because he believed existing textbooks did not adequately prepare doctors to function in the changing ER environment.  Americans visited the emergency room 117 million times annually as of 2007.
“With advances in medical care, ER doctors are now seeing patients with diseases or congenital disorders who in past generations would not have survived through adulthood,” Dr. Venkat says. “We see patients , for example, living with congenital heart disease, HIV, sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis.
“We also see patients who have been treated with newer modalities such as bariatric surgery. We see the very old, and the very obese. We see people dealing with serious social problems or intellectual disabilities and lack of access to medical resources,” Dr. Venkat added.
Chapters also deal with renal transplant patients, end-stage renal disease patients on dialysis, adults receiving chemotherapeutic regimens, geriatric trauma patients, children with intestinal failure, family violence and adults with conditions causing chronic pain.
Dr. Venkat contributed to the writing of three chapters, and several other AGH physicians authored or co-authored chapters. AGH emergency physician Moira Davenport, MD, co-authored the chapter on chemotherapy patients; John O’Neill, MD, emergency and internal medicine physician and Elan Jeremitsky, MD, trauma surgeon, wrote the section on geriatric trauma; Kara Iskyan, MD, a former AGH resident in emergency and internal medicine, co-authored the chapter on adults with congenital heart disease.
The JAMA reviewer noted that the book “fills a wide gulf between standard textbooks in emergency medicine and the subspecialty literature.” It includes an index “listing topics that every emergency medicine physician will recognize as new challenges in the field.”
The book is “more than complete enough to serve as a general reference yet concise enough to allow it to be used for general reading,” the reviewer said. “It will serve as a superb study guide for emergency medicine residents and provide tremendous opportunities for practicing emergency medicine physicians to update their skill sets.”
The book is available for purchase at Amazon.com and other outlets.
For more information, contact:
West Penn Allegheny Health System
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