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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is the second of a two-volume set that addresses practical issues related to microbiology, hematology, and transfusion medicine laboratory testing and clinical laboratory medicine practice.
Purpose: The purpose of the set is to make available — at low cost — good laboratory practice concepts, methods, and procedures for those working in tropical countries, "often in difficult and challenging situations."
Audience: The author intends this book for laboratorians working with limited means. This book, however, would be useful for laboratorians everywhere, as well as medical technology students, medical students, pathology and laboratory medicine residents in training and practicing pathologists.
Features: This is a condensed, concise, and highly informative book on recommended microbiology, hematology and transfusion medicine laboratory practice. It is amazingly complete — ranging from preanalytical issues (specimen handling, volunteer blood donation) to detailed methods (including how to make Pasteur pipettes from glass tubing!) to clinical interpretation of relevant laboratory test results. A nice feature is the 20 pages of color photomicrographs (peripheral blood) and other illustrative plates (various microbiology tests — bacterial colonies, rapid tests including membrane-based ones) which are of wonderfully high quality and educational value. I especially enjoyed the remarkably thorough 11 chapters covering all aspects of hematology — anemia, hemoglobin variants, coagulation, leukemia, etc. — in just 80 pages. Another nice feature is the appendixes — appendix I contains recipes for bacterial culture media, and appendix II contains useful addresses for manufacturers and suppliers of laboratory reagents and supplies. The only drawback to this book is the glaring absence of information on topics covered in Part 1. After leafing through this book, I must admit that I began to consider replacing my many books on microbiology, hematology and transfusion medicine with just this volume, as well as to think about reviewing current practice in these areas in my own laboratory to identify those which could be performed at lower cost and labor, yet maintaining the same high level of quality!
Assessment: This is really a great book — everything you need to know at your fingertips in just one book. Although developed as a low cost alternative for laboratories in tropical countries having limited resources, this book would be just as useful for any clinical laboratory anywhere.