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Textbook of Anaesthesia.

Textbook of Anaesthesia. Fifth Edition. Eds A. R. Aitkenhead, G. Smith, D. J. Rowbotham; Churchill Livingstone; Distributor: Elsevier Australia--www.elsevier.com.au, 30-52Smidmore St, Marrickville, N.S.W. 2204; $199.00; 190x245 mm; pp. 858; ISBN 10: 0-443-10078-0; ISBN 13: 978-0-443-10078-9.

As with previous editions of Textbook of Anaesthesia, the objectives of this fifth edition is to provide a textbook meeting the requirements for beginners in anaesthesia and an essential resource for those preparing for the (English) Primary Examination. There are a number of modifications, apart from the reduced size. Most noticeably, there is a rearrangement in the order in which the chapters appear. There is also a reduction in basic anatomy and physiology, particularly renal and respiratory.

This edition is reader-friendly, subtopics are highlighted and different fonts are employed. The chapter subject appears at the top of the left hand page and the relevant section at the top of the right hand page. Many chapters have minor rearrangements and modifications reflecting present day practice, e.g. the chapter on anaesthesia outside the operating theatre environment (Chapter 34) now includes accident and emergency departments as well as accident scenes. Guidelines for patient selection and exclusion for day case general anaesthesia are more liberal and updated. Similarly, the appendices are updated with dobutamine and esmolol infusion regimes included.

Not surprisingly, the U.K. practice is similar to our own. There are a few differences noted. The book describes the use of nasal masks for dental anaesthesia and, in the chapter on 'Paediatric Anaesthesia' (Chapter 36), it is stated that general anaesthesia is avoided for neonatal inguinal hernia repair because of the risk of postoperative apnoea. Although this book would not meet the requirements for our own Part I candidates, it certainly achieves the difficult objective of providing an easy-to-read text for beginners in anaesthesia. All the sub-specialties are covered, including intensive care and chronic pain. The chapters on 'Intercurrent Disease', 'Obstetric Anaesthesia', 'Thoracic and Cardiac Surgery', 'Neurosurgery' and 'Orthopaedic Surgery' are particularly well written.

One major omission is any discussion on cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This would seem to be an unusual decision of the editors because the book is designed to be a practical guide for "all anaesthetists and other health care professionals involved in the care of patients". Another important omission is that in Chapter 17 on 'Local Anaesthetic Techniques', there is no discussion on ultrasound-guided techniques.

Despite these criticisms, this single-volume textbook of anaesthesia covers a wide range of easy-to-read topics and is a valuable source of general information. It would be a suitable textbook for junior trainees who need a compact and practical introduction to the specialty. It would also be suitable for allied professionals who are involved in the care of patients in the perioperative period. This book is recommended for anaesthetic department libraries.

A. SAADY

Sydney, New South Wales
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Author:Saady, A.
Publication:Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2008
Words:472
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