Bennett and Brachman's Hospital Infections, 6th Edition

ISBN: 9781451175929
ISBN-10: 1451175922
Copyright: 2014
Edition: 6th
Editor: Jarvis, William R.
Doody's Expert Review    Score: 83
Reviewer: Farrin Manian,  MD, MPH  (Massachusetts General Hospital)
Similar to its predecessor, this update of a book on healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is divided into three major sections on general considerations, functional areas of concern, and endemic and epidemic hospital infections. The previous edition was published in 2007.
The stated goal is to provide the most up-to-date information on healthcare epidemiology and HAIs along with tools to help prevent them while inculcating healthcare professionals with a zero tolerance approach to these infections. This is a laudable goal embraced by professionals in infection control as well as the lay public. The book is not unique, and other works cover similar topics.
The target audience appears to be infection control professionals, hospital epidemiologists, and any healthcare workers whose responsibilities include prevention of HAIs. The editor is an internationally recognized expert in the field.
The first of the book's three sections covers topics ranging from the epidemiology of HAIs to antimicrobial stewardship and control of HAIs in limited-resource settings. The second covers the inanimate environment, ambulatory care settings, and infections in long-term care facilities, while the third and last section covers primarily organ- and device-specific infections. An attractive feature of this book is its coverage of healthcare epidemiology and infection control in healthcare settings beyond hospitals, including long-term care facilities, outpatient surgical centers, hemodialysis centers, and home settings, each widely recognized to have its own unique set of challenges. Generally, chapters are extensively referenced with all citations included in the print book, a convenient feature, particularly for readers who may not have ready access to the online version. Many infection control professionals will find the chapter on miscellaneous infections related to procedures useful as it covers topics ranging from infections associated with leech therapy to robotic surgery. There are several noteworthy shortcomings, however. First, as with any print publication, there is lingering concern that the material may not be as up to date as one would like. Access to an online version comes with the book, but its value would be further enhanced by ongoing updates, especially in such a rapidly evolving field as hospital epidemiology. Second, although the breadth of topics covered by the book is commendable, several subjects of great interest to many infection control professionals, such as infection control issues surrounding hospital renovation and construction, pet therapy, and long-term, acute care facilities seem to receive little or no attention. Lastly, certain chapters might have benefited from a more balanced and comprehensive review of the existing literature. For example, the chapter on surgical site infections makes only a brief reference to formal prevention guidelines while it cites one reference that appears to have been deleted from the list at the end of the chapter. In the same chapter, a section entitled, "New directions in preventing postoperative infection," suggests that an "increasing body of evidence" supports the use of decolonization of Staphylococcus aureus to reduce the incidence of surgical site infections due to the same organism while overlooking several randomized controlled studies that conclude otherwise. Another chapter, on foodborne disease prevention in healthcare facilities, has a convenient table of common foodborne pathogens in the U.S. and Canada, but a table focusing on pathogens and food items implicated in foodborne disease transmission specific to healthcare settings might have been even more instructive and useful.
The mountain of knowledge in the field of healthcare epidemiology and infection control continues to undergo rapid change and expansion. This book is therefore a necessary update after seven years. Although the depth of coverage of specific HAI topics may vary, this remains a useful book, replete with both fundamental and practical aspects of HAI prevention. It nicely complements other available works on HAI prevention.
Review Questionnaire
Range Question Score
1-10 Are the author's objectives met? 8
1-10 Rate the worthiness of those objectives. 10
1-5 Is this written at an appropriate level? 5
1-5 Is there significant duplication? (1=significant, 5=insignificant) 4
1-5 Are there significant omissions? (1=significant, 5=insignificant) 4
1-5 Rate the authority of the authors. 4
1-5 Are there sufficient illustrations? 5
1-5 Rate the pedagogic value of the illustrations. 4
1-5 Rate the print quality of the illustrations. 4
1-5 Are there sufficient references? 5
1-5 Rate the currency of the references. 4
1-5 Rate the pertinence of the references. 3
1-5 Rate the helpfulness of the index. 3
1-5 If important in this specialty, rate the physical appearance of the book N/A
1-10 Is this a worthwhile contribution to the field? 8
1-10 If this is a 2nd or later edition, is this new edition needed? 8