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Complications in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.

Complications in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. J. M. Neal, J. P. Rathmell; Saunders Elsevier, Distributor: Elsevier Australia--www.; $170.00; 220X282 mm; pp. 386; ISBN-13:978-1-4160-2392-0.

As a registrar, I was very influenced by David Brown's Risk and outcome in Anesthesia, now sadly out of print. The book reviewed here falls into a similar category, having no obvious text for comparison.

Editorial control, from the Journal of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, is template tight. The editors have drawn from a field of mostly North American authors, but there are some very familiar names (including David Brown's in the first chapter on risk analysis).

The book is divided into three sections: Regional Anesthesia (16 chapters), Pain Medicine (16 chapters) and Medicolegal Perspective (3 chapters). The chapter format and style are very consistent and there is little in the way of repetition in the first section.

In the first section there is value for anyone who practises regional anaesthesia. Ironically there is perhaps more value for the occasional practitioner rather than the enthusiast. There is much that would be useful to trainees also. The chapters on haemodynamic complications, systemic toxicity and adjuvant toxicity would be very useful for Primary Fellowship candidates and the whole of the first section and the first three chapters of the second section (on systemic opioids and continuous regional techniques) would be useful for Final Fellowship candidates.

In Pain Medicine there is little in interventional technique that is not critiqued from the complication viewpoint. The contributors are all experienced physicians who write with a concise, evidence-based approach. The layout, tables and illustrations (but not the fluoroscopy images) enhance the text and aid the discussion of risk with patients and colleagues.

Each chapter is an island unto itself and repetition is rife, as every technique has many similar and few unique complications. The value of this approach is the quantification of the relative incidence of these complications for each technique. Missing is radiological input into complications associated with imaging using current and new imaging technologies.

Overall, this book is highly recommended to all departments.



Burnie, Tasmania
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Author:Reeves, M.; Henshaw, J.
Publication:Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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