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Manual of Anaesthesia.

Manual of Anaesthesia. C.Y. Lee; McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd, Locked Bag 2233, North Ryde BC, N.S.W. 1670; $39.95;185x235 mm; pp. 884; ISBN: 007-124807-2.

Manual of Anaesthesia by C. Y. Lee is a recent arrival in the highly competitive "early reader" market. Refreshingly, it is a medium sized text of 872 pages rather than a pocket manual. Most of the books in this segment attempt to compress the format to fit into the mythical white coat pocket.

Professor Lee from the University Kebangsaan in Malaysia has attempted virtually single-handedly, a comprehensive review of the day-to-day practice of anaesthesia from a didactic and exquisitely practical focus. After a foreword from our own Professor P. C. A. Kam, the book is arranged into five sections: Introduction, Clinical Conditions, Anaesthesia for Specific Surgery, Issues in Anaesthesia and Problems in Anaesthesia.

Manual of Anaesthesia is well written and the nomenclature and content are compatible with practice in Australia and New Zealand (although we are referred to as "anaesthesiologists").

Section A: Introduction deals with basic considerations, preoperative, assessment perioperative care, drugs and equipment.

Section B: Clinical Conditions deals with 21 common co-morbidities and clinical problems.

Section C: Anaesthesia for Specific Surgery is the cookbook for various clinical scenarios and like similar handbooks and manuals provides reassurance and instruction to those either entering the specialty or only occasionally providing anaesthesia for certain subspecialties.

Section D: Issues In Anaesthesia addresses a number of topics that couldn't be dealt with elsewhere and brings together such diverse topics as awareness and chronic pain. Section E: Problems In Anaesthesia is a highly useful section since it deals with all the important critical events one could encounter during a busy anaesthetic practice.

The text reads like a set of lecture notes with minimal illustrations--those that are present in the regional anaesthesia section are basic line drawings which illustrate the anatomical points in rudimentary but effective fashion.

The 12-page index is basic and not entirely comprehensive.

Professor Lee's book passed the acid test of the book reviewer when dissecting a chapter which pertains to the reviewer's main interest or favourite topic. Chapter 22, Anaesthesia and Obesity met with my approval and I could find only one small error in that the anti-obesity drug orlistat is not an appetite suppressant but a lipase blocker. The reference list was disappointing in that it missed out on three major reviews since 1998 and included six out of seven citations on sleep apnoea but only one on obesity and anaesthesia!

If I have one major criticism of this text it would be that the references at the end of each chapter need to be beefed up and updated for a second edition. I would recommend Manual of Anaesthesia by Professor Lee as a personal purchase for trainees in their early clinical years and as a starting point for discussion and/or revision for the more senior anaesthetist. At the recommended retail price of $39.95 it is very good value indeed.


Sydney, New South Wales
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Author:Sultana, A.
Publication:Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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