Litigation Paralegals: Build Your Medical Resources Library of Knowledge

A collection of medical resources for paralegals can be a benefit to your workflow when reviewing medical records and creating chronologies. Personal injury, medical malpractice, toxic tort and mass tort paralegals can well benefit from sharpening their medical knowledge. 

Medical resources for paralegals

Whether your practice involves a client injury in the workplace, injury due to medical negligence, or product defect or toxic chemicals, you will have a need to obtain and review medical records. 
At times the terms used in the medical records can be confusing and the rationale for diagnosis and treatment is not clear. In other instances, you might need to review a standard of care as it relates to your client’s diagnosis and treatment.
Below is a general listing of resources, both in text print as well as online, that might be of benefit to your office as a whole but to also keep at your desk for reference.
The paperback book is an excellent resource and still remains current. This quick reference guide lists 32,000 meanings of medical abbreviations and 4,000 cross-referenced generic and brand drug names. There are thumb-tabbed pages and when you buy the book, you also receive a single-user access code to the Internet version of the book. The Internet version of the book is updated weekly.
Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests with Nursing Implications (7th edition) by Joyce LeFever Kee

Everything students and practicing nurses need to know about laboratory and diagnostic testing, with an emphasis on nursing implications and patient education.
Each test is discussed in seven subsections in the following sequence: (1) reference values/normal findings, (2) description, (3) purpose, (4) clinical problems, (5) procedure, (6) factors affecting laboratory or diagnostic results and (7) nursing implications with rationale.
This book has been considered the standard in perioperative care for over 50 years and is a comprehensive reference for students and practitioners alike.  Unit I covers basic principles and patient care requisites.  Unit II details the step-by-step procedures for over 400 general and specialty surgical interventions.  The unique needs of ambulatory, pediatric, geriatric and trauma surgery patients are discussed in Unit III. New features include highlighted patient education and discharge planning, sample critical pathways, expanded coverage of endoscopic/minimally invasive procedures and Internet resources. The chapter entitled Surgical Modalities addresses today’s technologically advanced perioperative environment.
The most widely used medical text in the world and the hypochondriac’s bible, the Merck has the lowdown on the vast expanse of human diseases, disorders, and injuries, as well as their symptoms and recommended therapy. It is intended for physicians and medical students, but though the type is tiny and the language technical, the Merck Manual is a valuable volume for anyone with more than a passing interest in bodily ills.
This three-volume set continues to be the premier source that defines the field of emergency medicine. It describes the science of emergency medicine and its application, focusing on the diagnosis and management of problems encountered in the emergency department.  This stellar new team of editors has introduced many new features including a “Cardinal Presentations” section, chapter consistency and more diagnostic imaging throughout. All of the existing chapters have been extensively revised and the lists have been edited to include more significant up-to-date references.  The new 6th edition has added many color illustrations and also comes with membership to the Website which enables the reader to access the online version of the text until a new edition is published.
Oakbrook Terrace, IL, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, 2001. CAMH, $350.00; CAMH and 1-year update, $565.00; CAMH annual subscription update, $245.00.
These materials will give you comprehensive guidance on the scientific and biological basis of disease processes, pathophysiology, clinical practice protocols, clinical manifestations, diagnostic procedures and treatment strategies for all major organ system disorders. The outlay is great and the depth of coverage is excellent. It cuts to the heart of internal medicine without giving you distracting [and often confusing] information.
This book provides clinical information on ambulatory and inpatient medical care of children from birth through adolescence, focusing on clinical aspects of pediatric care and their underlying principles. Emphasis is on ambulatory care, acute critical care and a practical approach to pediatric disorders. This edition contains new chapters on developmental disorders and behavioral problems, substance abuse, allergic disorders and fluid, electrolyte and acid-base disorders and therapy, plus expanded illustrations.
This text offers new up-to-date content and improved features, in addition to complete coverage of more than 200 nursing skills, a nursing process framework for a logical and consistent presentation, and a convenient two-column format with rationales for each skill step.

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