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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bernard Wittels, MD, PhD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: This is the fifth volume in the Atlas of Anesthesia series. Each of 11 subspecialty areas are presented with a brief, written introduction, followed by illustrations, charts, tables, graphs, algorithms, and photographic images.
Purpose: The goal is to introduce the reader to important anesthesia concepts.
Audience: The intended audience includes anesthesia students, residents, and, most notably, teaching practitioners.
Features: For each subspecialty, information is presented graphically more than in text, which makes the book easy to read and to comprehend. Some contributors include photographs, radiographs, and color graphics. With limited text and restricted numbers of figures, no chapter is comprehensive in nature, yet errors are found in the text, in reference authors' names, in figures, and in figure legends. Some written passages use improper grammar and diction. Within each chapter, there is no reference to any other chapter in the book. As a result, different figures describing the blood supply to the spinal cord appear in three different chapters (one links an identifying line from an intervertebral space to a label for the artery of Adamkiewicz). Pheochromocytoma is presented in the urology chapter, although a separate chapter on endocrinopathies would be preferred.
Assessment: The overall concept of this book is useful, but requires much greater attention to linguistics, grammar, spelling, and cross-referencing (all of which are far inferior to any peer-reviewed publication). In order to maximize the benefits of graphic data presentation, the editor should revise graphics to include color, three-dimensional outlays, and artistic flair (many of the "illustrations" are two dimensional tables, algorithms, lists, and simple black line graphs with minimal visual appeal). The quality and style of textual information is erratic from chapter to chapter, and the multitude of errors in text and graphics reflects poorly on the editorial review process prior to publication.