Book Reviews Products

Book Review: Critical Care Transport

This is a guest book review by critical care paramedic, Michael Fraley, and critical care transport nurse, Colleen Herda. If you want to guest post or review on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Critical Care Transport (2011)

American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, American College of Emergency Physicians
Series Editor: Andrew N. Pollak, MD, FAAOS
Jones and Bartlett Publishers

We liked the Critical Care Transport textbook as soon as we picked it up. As silly as it may sound, the book looked and felt like a reputable resource right away. It wasn’t an overwhelming multi-volume set nor was it a flimsy handbook.

Critical Care Transport was written to prepare any health care provider (paramedic, nurse, respiratory therapist, physicians, etc.) for work in the ground or air critical care transport setting. The back cover states that the textbook meets the curricula of the major critical care transport training programs across the US.


Upon opening the cover we found the table of contents to be well organized and thorough. The text starts with four chapters about things a critical care transport student would need to know before they even thought about a patient. The Introduction to Critical Care Transport, Medical-Legal Issues, Aircraft Fundamentals and Flight Physiology chapters do a good job of describing the role and how it differs from other jobs nurses, paramedics and other critical care crew members may have performed before transitioning to transport.

The book then goes into chapters focusing on specific body systems and types of emergencies. The chapters go through a wide variety of conditions encountered in transport and review the pertinent characteristics and management points of each without dragging the reader all the way back to the fundamentals of their original training.

The chapters follow the usual flow of introduction, anatomy/ physiology, pathophysiology, assessment, management and special situations. Specific assessments and skills unique to critical care transport are highlighted and nicely explained. The text pays special attention to procedures that are high-risk or low-frequency. A provider would certainly still need to learn the details of their own service’s protocols, equipment and supplies but the text gives a good overview.

Chapter Features

The graphics are well designed and conservatively used. Diagrams, charts and tables add to the material presented in the text rather than overpowering or detracting from it. Each chapter has a brief case review which highlights the subject matter of the chapter while putting it into a real-life transport situation. Finally, each chapter ends with a bibliography, a vocabulary reference and a bulleted list of important points to be reviewed before a certification exam.

Everyday EMS Tips Recommended

Overall the textbook is easy to read and follow. New or complicated concepts are well explained. We would recommend this text for a healthcare professional new to transport or a seasoned transport professional studying for a certification exam.

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By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.