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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Tariq M. Malik, MD (University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine)
Description: Part of the Practical Approach to Anesthesia series, this is a concise but comprehensive collection of information on pediatric anesthesia. As is the hallmark of this series, the information is generally provided in a bulleted format with important points highlighted in bold. The authors make a point of discussing the rationale of an anesthesia plan in the context of the pathophysiology of each disease.
Purpose: The stated intention is to provide practical information on pediatric anesthesia in a ready to use format, along with the rationales for anesthetic approaches in different disease conditions. The authors have successfully achieved their objectives without making the book too burdensome.
Audience: The book is meant for any anesthesiologist who takes care of children. It discusses wide range of conditions, from common to uncommon, and the information is quite complete, making the book useful for even experienced anesthesiologists. The contributors share their considerable experience, providing their opinions throughout the book.
Features: The first section deals with basic concepts of pediatric physiology and pharmacology as they relate to anesthetic management and preoperative evaluation. The second section is devoted to general pediatric anesthesia management and covers topics such as equipment and room setup, general principles of induction and management, recovery issues, and pain management. The chapter on regional anesthesia is a treat to read, full of descriptions of all the useful blocks with guidelines for local anesthetic dosage. The third section covers every organ and system dysfunction and their anesthetic management, including inborn errors of metabolic conditions. The final section discusses special situations like anesthesia for fetal surgery and preterm babies, providing anesthesia outside the operating room, and anesthesia for trauma or organ transplantation. The book is unique in its breadth and depth of coverage in such a handy format. Every chapter is clearly written and the information is very practical. Important points are highlighted so they don't get missed. There is great deal of emphasis on embryology to provide a better understanding of anesthetic plans. The chapter on organ disorders is neatly organized under the headings of background, embryology of disorder, pathophysiology of resulting dysfunction, anesthetic implications, anesthetic options, a complete anesthetic plan, and recovery issues. All this is accomplished in a page or two for each disorder. It's hard to find fault with such a dedicated effort.
Assessment: This is an excellent book in every aspect. It is comprehensive, brief, practical, and to the point. Information is organized in a readily accessible format. It is well illustrated and well referenced. It fills the gap between small handbooks, which say too little, and big textbooks, which say too much, when guidance is needed in a timely fashion. It is a must read for any student of pediatric anesthesia at any level of training.