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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Valerie L. Ng, PhD MD(Alameda County Medical Center/Highland Hospital)
Description: This is the second edition of a comprehensive book covering transfusion medicine practice. This new edition is necessary because of the many advances in transfusion medicine that have occurred since the publication of the first edition.
Purpose: The author's intent is to provide an all-in-one, comprehensive text on transfusion medicine. These are notably worthy goals that are only partially fulfilled with this edition.
Audience: This book is intended for all interested in transfusion medicine. I think it would be most useful for those early in their transfusion medicine careers (residents, junior attendings) or anyone with a basic interest in this field (medical students, interns and junior residents, clinical laboratory scientist students or those early in their practicing careers). The authors are all renowned in their areas of transfusion medicine specialties.
Features: This midsize hardcover book covers all topics relevant to transfusion medicine. The authors are from the United Kingdom, and the information provided does not always represent transfusion medicine as it is practiced outside of the U.K. The authors have done a terrific job of covering all the major topics in transfusion medicine, but in a less than comprehensive fashion. As an example, the chapter on blood substitutes discusses the clinical experience for all the possible products that have been tried. There is no mention, however, of the well recognized problem that these substitutes cause with in vitro measurements for commonly ordered non-blood bank laboratory tests. Similarly, the chapter on bleeding associated with trauma and surgery is relatively superficial, lacking in-depth discussion in each of several important areas, such as hemodilution following transfusion of multiple blood products and effect on platelet count, role of coagulation testing (and associated regulatory issues) in directly influencing blood product therapy, separating cardiac bypass surgery considerations from that of massive transfusion associated with trauma, etc. Perhaps the practice of transfusion medicine is significantly different in the United States (where I practice) than in the U.K. that these issues of such importance to me are not of major importance in the U.K.
Assessment: This book would be best suited for those early in their transfusion medicine careers. Even with this recommendation, I think that a similar book, Modern Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine, 5th edition, by Harmening (F. A. Davis, 2005), has a better presentation and more in-depth discussion of the same information. For those advanced in the practice of transfusion medicine and wanting a more substantial book on the field, I would recommend one of the hefty textbooks already on the market (i.e., Rossi's Principles of Transfusion Medicine, 3rd edition, edited by Simon et al. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2002); Blood Banking and Transfusion Medicine: Basic Principles and Practice , edited by Hillyer et al.(Saunders, 2003)).