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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael F. Roizen, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This compendium attempts to give experienced practitioners in anesthesiology a summary of each disease entity they might face. This second edition has deleted the two sections on drugs that appeared in the first edition, published in 1990.
Purpose: The author states the purpose was to produce a relatively advanced practical reference system for the trained anesthetist. She also explains that the book is not for beginners, but is to be used as a briefcase or back-of-the-car reference to provide help in times of crisis. These are incredibly worthy objectives, and it is an admirable attempt for a single-author reference source. The book largely meets the author's objectives, but it falls short in that several diseases are not described with a comprehensive enough course of critical events. However, it's still considerably better than the next best reference source for this type of review.
Audience: This book is written for the experienced practitioner, and it is appropriately targeted.
Features: The references are current and pertinent and have been updated since the 1990 edition. The table of contents and indexes are appropriate. The overall appearance of the book is good, and it appears able to stand up to a fair amount of use.
Assessment: I believe that every practitioner should have two copies of a book like this, and I know of nothing currently available that is its equal. One copy should be in every anesthesia practitioner's reference set at home for review prior to the next day's schedule; and in the top drawer of an anesthesia machine, or on CD-ROM, so that it can be easily accessed before reviewing the day's proposed cases. However, the book is not comprehensive enough, especially of critical events, to be the only ready reference source the anesthesiologist has. The new edition is different enough to justify replacing the previous edition. Although clearly written for the practitioner in Great Britain (it includes a list of phone numbers for assistance there), it would be valuable for all in anesthesia in any part of the world.