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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Anthony Shanks, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This is a triage tool that provides easy-to-follow algorithms for complex obstetrical problems.
Purpose: The book aims to promote the use of evidence-based medicine in both "well-resourced and less well-resourced countries." A clear goal is to minimize the adverse outcomes associated with catastrophic obstetrical events. These are worthy objectives, and the authors do a decent job addressing them.
Audience: The target audience is midwives, medical students, and trainees.
Features: The book first tackles the "top 5 killers" — deep vein thrombosis, preeclampsia, postpartum hemorrhage, septic shock, and amniotic fluid embolus. Chapters provide easy-to-follow algorithms. The authors appropriately discuss the use of V/Q scans, CT scans and Dopplers. Chapters are concise, but the bullet format doesn't provide much information for interested readers. However, this is not necessarily a shortcoming, as the book is intended for low-resource areas, and each chapter addresses issues specific to these areas. The chapter on amniotic fluid embolus has concise information but lacks a discussion of the pathophysiology behind the condition. Pictures are few and those are black and white. The chapter on umbilical cord prolapse seems excessively long, considering the brevity with which more serious conditions are treated. Later chapters — such as the one on perimortem Cesarean section — seem to balance the content and the algorithm issue better. Overall, the book provides concise information but lacks the detail that more interested readers would like.
Assessment: This is a quick and easy reference designed for trainees in low resource areas. The book does an admirable job, although the images leave something to be desired. There are more thorough books available, but this book does what it set out to do.