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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: Continuing its unique troubleshooting approach for the successful administration of nerve blocks in this second edition, this is a comprehensive and practical book of regional. The book is full of cadaver and ultrasound images, which go a long way to enhance the anatomical knowledge needed for the successful outcome of any block.
Purpose: It is meant to be a thorough yet practical guide of regional anesthesia.
Audience: The book is intended for clinicians who practice regional anesthesia regardless of their background. It is a useful starting point for novices as well as a reference for experienced physicians.
Features: The first of the book's six sections describes the basic knowledge needed for performing a nerve block like general anatomy, pharmacology of drugs, monitoring, documentation and complications. The next section covers the traditional, or nerve stimulation, technique of nerve blocks. All regional blocks including wrist, paravertebral, and intercostal are covered, as are both single shot and catheter techniques. A comprehensive review of ultrasound techniques for nerve blocks follows, covering topics like ultrasound physics and image optimization. There are dedicated chapters on ultrasound guided neuraxial techniques. A whole section at the end of book presents ultrasound images for every nerve that can be blocked. The book is accompanied by a DVD that shows the five most commonly performed blocks in patients using ultrasound. The blocks are described in a very orderly fashion — anatomy, landmarks, positioning of the patient, equipment needed, and technique for each block are clearly narrated. The chapters are peppered with helpful hints, tables, and images to make the book lively and helpful. The authors share their personal experience of how to improve outcomes while describing the blocks. The section on block dynamics at the end of every block description that explains how blocks develop alone is worth buying this book.
Assessment: There are an impressive number of regional anesthesia books on the market, and they all have their value. But when it comes to learning regional anesthesia, it's the subtleties of performing blocks that is key. No book comes closer to teaching the art of regional anesthesia than this one does. The previous edition was published in 2004, and a lot has been added to this edition. Apart from dedicating half the book to ultrasound techniques, whole sections are devoted to cadaver and ultrasound images and surface anatomy. In short, this is the only book one needs to learn and become proficient in performing regional anesthesia.