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International Anesthesiology Clinics. Special Considerations in Anesthesiology: Cases from the Midwest Anesthesia Resident Conference.

International Anesthesiology Clinics. Special Considerations in Anesthesiology: Cases from the Midwest Anesthesia Resident Conference. 2.0. W. E. Hurford; Wolters Kluwer Health; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Suite 1801, Level 18, 9 Hunter Street, Sydney, NSW 2000; $176; 157x232 mm; pp. 126; ISSN 0020-5907.

In the preface to this book one is asked to remember Mrs Jones--you know, the patient whom you 'wrote up' with the rare and fascinating collection of signs and symptoms that presented you with an anaesthetic challenge. Do you remember her?

The book is true to form and presents the reader with a broad range of case reports from the difficult airway caused by a remnant tracheal cleft to an unusual presentation of myasthenia gravis and many more. Most of these are interesting, short and easy to read. The book is not intended to be a reference for rare conditions nor an evidenced based review on unusual conditions. The case reports clearly highlight that rarities do occur and often when least expected.

One interesting aspect that I gleaned was that the anaesthesia environment we work in is "a fluid entity and the application of one standard protocol may not meet the needs of all situations or all institutions".

In the ever-increasing protocol/guideline driven patient safety improvement process, we must be cognisant that these changes in policy do not drive a demand that we use a 'universal protocol' which actually inhibits the capacity to manage the unexpected with some lateral thinking.

The case report is usually considered weak evidence in medical literature, yet our day-to-day practice is case-based, our final fellowship vivas are case-based and our Morbidity and Mortality meetings case-based. I enjoy reading case reports and I agree with the editor that case reports continue to teach and transmit knowledge like few other forms of articles, despite the challenges of their publication in the literature.

I found the book a good read, bringing back some personal memories of difficult cases that I wished had been documented, I would recommend this book for a departmental library for both registrar and consultant access.

M. W. SKINNER

Hobart, Tasmania
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Author:Skinner, M. W.
Publication:Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2011
Words:349
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