Clinical Toxicology

3rd edition, by C. J. Polson, M. A. Green, and M. R. Lee. x + 607 pages. J. B. Lippincott Co., The Health Professions Publisher of Harper & Row, Inc., East Washington Square, Philadelphia, PA 19105. 1983. $47.50

Edgar J. Martin 4615 N. Park Avenue #505, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

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The book revises Polson-Tattersall's 1969 edition. It rearranges the contents, updates technologies, and has new additions such as the chapter on “Poisonous and Venomous Marine Life.” The authors do not give their definition of “Clinical Toxicology” and its relation to adverse drug effects and the subjects' susceptibility. They do not show supporting data for their opening statement “in the present clinical scene poisoning is usually self-inflicted; …” (page 1). Certain narrations do not fit into common concepts of clinical toxicology, e.g., “Disposal of human remains by Immersion in Sulphuric Acid” (page 250).

The book is an arbitrary selection of poisonings. It does not discuss some of clinically important and well-documented poisonings by, for example, cobalt (in beer); enterovioform combinations (SMON); beryllium; oxygen (in nurseries); hexachlorophene; warfare gases; radiation; mycotoxins. The book gives valuable information on general toxicologic and/or forensic testing in a modern hospital setting, and identifies organizations for special tests and reporting in the United Kingdom.