The outbreak of anthrax infections that followed September 11, 2001, showed all too clearly that while we can defend ourselves against bioterrorism, our defenses need improvement. What's most important is the ability to recognize the associated disease, and recognize them quickly. Yet, many in the medical world are unfamiliar with the characteristic signs and symptoms of bioterrorism agents and are unable to differentiate between diseases whose symptoms appear almost identical. While a plethora of information on such diseases is available, finding it is time consuming.
Bioterrorism: Field Guide to Disease Identification and Initial Patient Management is an accessible resource that helps first-responders to quickly recognize the signs and symptoms caused by exposure to bioterrorism agents. It provides enough information to initiate treatment while a definitive diagnosis is being determined and presents measures for preventing contamination of those involved in the victims' medical management.
A special quick-reference foldout chart features a matrix linking 180 symptoms to 17 diseases and 90 differential diagnosis. In bulleted format, the book includes for each pathogenic agent:
Brief Overview of Biological Warfare and Bioterrorism
Terrorism as a Threat
Bioterrorism in History
Pathogens Posing Major Threats
Class A Agents
Class B Agents
Class C Agents
Medical Diagnosis and Initial Treatment
General Aspects of Medical Management
Specimen Collection: General Rules
Useful Microscopy Techniques
Handling of Contaminated Material
Handling of Deceased Victims
Personnel Issues Relevant to Bioterrorism
Federal, State, and International Organizations
Federal and State Agency Reports
Books and Manuals
Periodicals and Other Publications
Federal and State Agencies Relevant to Counter-Bioterrorism
U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Field Offices
Federal, State, and Territorial Healthcare Authorities
"Finding the best information that is currently available frequently requires persistence and effort. Von Lubitz … here provides ready access to information about infectious diseases for health care workers … . … [The book] presents information … in a manner that would prove useful even in very stressful moments. Thus it is a book suitable for true field use. … If needed, it would provide the essential information to start treatment, and maintain it until expert assistance become available. Summing Up: Recommended."
"As the title implies this field guide can be used as a starting place for obtaining rapid access to relevant medical information. … Recommended for non-specialists medical personnel at any level e.g. physicians, nurses, paramedics and first responders, and for establishments responsible for public safety."
- E-Streams, Vol. 7, No. 11
Won Highly Commended in the Public Health category of the 2004 British Medical Association Library Book Competition.
"Field Guides like this are exactly what our country needs to address the hysteria that seems to surround the subject of chemical and biological attack. We must address this hysteria through education and training programs to educate the public, health care professionals, and our senior leaders. This field guide gives concise usable information to diagnose and treat such problems. I heartily recommend it for every practitioner in the field and for our public so that they are educated about the threat and can replace the hysteria with a reasoned approach based on fact."
- Lt. General Paul K. Carlton, Jr. (Ret.), Director, Integrative Center for Homeland Security, Texas A&M University
"Dr. von Lubitz is a world leader in the field of high fidelity medical simulation. This manual, which provides a basic and accessible summary of information on possible bioterrorism agents, is a timely addition to the literature on this topic. Through concise prose and formatting, Dr. von Lubitz presents information necessary for those wishing to simulate bioterrorism events, teach about the topic, or recognize and treat these conditions at a basic level."
- Kenneth A. Williams, MD, FACEP, Brown University, University of Massachusetts, Rhode Island Dept of Health EMS Division, and Principal Investigator, The Rhode Island Disaster Initiative