Skip to main content

Initial Management of Acute Medical Patients: A Guide for Nurses and Healthcare Practitioners, 2nd Edition

Initial Management of Acute Medical Patients: A Guide for Nurses and Healthcare Practitioners, 2nd Edition

Ian Wood (Editor), Michelle Garner (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-36128-5 January 2012 Wiley-Blackwell 288 Pages




Initial Management of Acute Medical Patients is a clinically focused, practical and contemporary guide for assessing and managing patients with acute medical conditions. Suitable for all nurses and healthcare practitioners in medical assessment units and medical wards, as well as A&E staff, it uses a structured approach based on common presenting features and focuses on the first 24 hours of the patient's hospital stay. It draws on a wide range of supporting evidence and also provides sources for further reading. 

Key features:

  • Written predominantly by nurses for nurses, this text is also suitable for a range of healthcare professionals, including paramedics and nurse practitioners, and anybody working in an acute care environment, including primary care assessment units, clinical decision units and intermediate care  
  • Designed as a quick reference text for use in clinical practice
  • Extensively referenced throughout, thus increasing its appeal to practitioners at all stages of their careers and to those who are undertaking further study 
  • Devotes two entire chapters to assessing and meeting the acute care needs of vulnerable adults (i.e. older adults, those with mental health needs, and those with learning disabilities), and discussing best practice in dealing with sudden death
  • Each chapter offers clear, concise and down-to-earth information based on a common presenting symptom and provides practical advice, supported by best evidence and the most up to date clinical guidelines
  • Fully updated and extensively expanded to include recent guidelines and procedures 
List of Contributors iv

Preface vi

Acknowledgements vii

Introduction viii

Normal Clinical Values ix

1 Initial Assessment of the Acute Medical Patient 1
Judith Morgan and Ian Wood

2 Vulnerable Adults 23
Louise Nelson, Scott Inglis, Fiona Howell, Michael Gibbs and Judi Thorley

3 Sudden Death 56
Sue Read and Jane Jervis

4 Cardiac Arrest 80
Carole Donaldson

5 Shock 108
Judith Morgan and Ian Wood

6 Altered Consciousness 133
Ian Wood and Carole Donaldson

7 Shortness of Breath 170
Michelle Garner, Susan Hope and Ian Wood

8 Chest Pain 221
Michelle Garner

9 Abdominal Pain and Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding 262
Toni Jordan, Ruth Harris and Terry Wardle

10 Extremity Pain and Swelling 288
Ian Wood

Index 300

  • Extensively expanded to include greater focus on the recognition and management of those patients whose condition deteriorates whilst already in hospital
  • Fully updated to take account of more recent guidelines and procedures including: Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK) Basic, In-hospital and Advanced Life Support guidelines; RCUK Guidelines for the management of bradycardia, tachycardia and anaphylactic shock; British Thoracic Society (BTS) / National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD); BTS guidelines for the assessment and management of asthma; BTS guidelines for the management of spontaneous pneumothorax
  • More widespread introduction of preventative measures for cardiovascular disease (e.g. statins)
  • More widespread introduction of primary treatments for myocardial infarction (angioplasty / stent)
  • Changes in nomenclature (e.g. change from left ventricular failure (LVF) to acute heart failure
  • Recent changes in incidence and distribution of disease (e.g. avian flu)  

“Even though aimed at nurses and healthcare practitioners working in the acute sector, I would suggest that this book will be equally appealing to those working in primary care and the community setting whose aim it is to keep patients in their home settings while recognising and managing exacerbations of their conditions. I would also suggest that this book would appeal to junior members of staff as a source of new knowledge, but also to the advanced practitioner as an excellent update and clinical reference.”  (Nursing Times, 26 September 2012)

“The book also presents a comprehensive account of the assessment and management of these patients.  It covers disease-causing pathophysiology in less depth than other, comparable texts, but many emergency nurses will find it a useful resource.”  (Emergency Nurse, 1 September 2012)