Description: This book is a current, comprehensive text consisting of 34 chapters written by different contributors. Areas covered include the bone marrow, peripheral blood, spleen, coagulation system, and transfusion medicine. The information contained in the book is easy to read and understand.
Purpose: The editors state in the preface that "the book is designed to help the audience develop a method to look at a problem and to think about diagnosing and fixing what can be fixed." Patients' expected clinical presentation and physical findings are correlated with laboratory test results. Thus, I think the reader gets the information needed to achieve the stated goal. The case histories at the end of the chapters give the reader opportunities for self-assessment in the practical application of materials covered. Combined, the three editors have extensive experience in all the areas of clinical and laboratory medicine covered.
Audience: The theories discussed are easy to understand and are applied in examples of how the laboratory test results help with patient care. This allows audiences of different backgrounds, such as medical technologists, medical students, clinical hematologists, and hematopathologists to find portions of the text useful in their daily practices as the editors intended.
Features: Discussions of neoplastic and reactive disorders of the hematopoietic system are included. I particularly enjoyed the eleven chapters devoted to the anemias and hemoglobinopathies. These potentially confusing topics are presented in such an orderly way that difficult concepts are easily grasped. As is true elsewhere in the text, appropriate information is summarized in tables, and illustrated with black-and-white photographs of typical examples or with diagrams. Color photographs would make it easier to appreciate some of the more subtle points, although this would probably make the text more expensive. In one chapter contributors explain how laboratory instrumentation and other variables affect coagulation results. Appropriately, the following eight chapters include coverage of coagulation and transfusion medicine issues concisely and clearly in keeping with the overall style of the book.
Assessment: This comprehensive hematologic pathology handbook is well written and organized. Students and practitioners of clinical and/or laboratory hematology would find it to be a valuable source of practical information applicable to patient care.