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Perianesthesia Patient Care for Uncommon Diseases.

Perianesthesia Patient Care for Uncommon Diseases. J. A. Joyce; Mosby Elsevier; Distributor: Elsevier, Tower 1, 475 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, NSW 2067; $125.00; 110 x 185 mm; pp. 430; ISBN: 978-0-323-04568-1.

This pocket-sized handbook is intended to provide a brief overview of a range of uncommon diseases. The author is an experienced certified registered nurse anaesthetist who hopes to "give the perianesthesia care professional a starting point--a reference for the care of a patient with an uncommon disease".

The book contains concise information on 91 uncommon diseases selected by the author and presented in alphabetical order from Achalasia to Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. The diseases are each presented in a standardised format under the headings of definition, incidence, aetiology, signs and symptoms, medical management, complications and anaesthesia implications. The information is generally brief, coherent and relevant but in many cases loses its impact due to the author's penchant for alphabetical bullet-lists. Thus symptoms, signs and complications are listed alphabetically with no indication of which are the more common or important in relation to the particular disease, its investigation or management. The management and recommendations tend to reflect the nature and organisation of anaesthesia practice in the United States. There are, however, some very useful summary tables and boxes scattered throughout the book that provide very concise information on aspects of individual diseases. Interestingly malignant hyperthermia, while it is mentioned in passing in relation to a few diseases, does not rate a section on its own. At the end of the book there are seven appendices (one contains brief notes on rare syndromes and the rest of the appendices have no specific reference to the text) and a list of four references, three of which are editions of the standard anaesthesiology texts on co-existing and uncommon diseases.

The alphabetical approach adopted by this book is acceptable for a handbook or manual but it lacks the coherence of a system-based approach to uncommon diseases.

Many clinicians will find that frustrating and will be disappointed by the lack of specific references. This book will give you a ready reference point or a 'quick fix' but it will not be as satisfying as the current editions of the standard anaesthesiology texts on coexisting and uncommon diseases.

W. R. Thompson

Nedlands, Western Australia
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Author:Thompson, W.R.
Publication:Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 1, 2009
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