Reviewer: Pamela Thurston, RN (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This is a unique and valuable resource for patients facing transplantion and their families. The book covers a full gamut of topics facing patients and families ranging from organ donation, to financial planning, to the future of transplantation.
Purpose: This book provides a unique perspective and collection of information important to transplant patients and families. It should be used in addition to information provided by the transplant center to provide a more global and comprehensive view of the tranplantation process.
Audience: The target audience is patients, families, and caregivers (i.e. nurses, social workers). The best use of this book would be by motivated patients and families who want to take an active role in their care and are in search of additional information beyond the basics. The medical consultant on the book is board certified in internal medicine. His credibility would have been enhanced if he had training/experience in transplantation.
Features: The book provides information in three areas: history and future of transplantation, pretransplantation preparations and post-transplantation issues and resources for patients and families. There is an excellent chapter on financial strategies while awaiting transplantation. All transplant candidates should read this chapter. Chapter 46 on transplant organizations provides useful resources for patients awaiting transplantation. Future editions should cover two paramount issues facing transplantation. The first is organ shortage/organ donation strategies to promote organ donation that all families can do. The importance of sharing one's decision to be an organ donor with family should be stressed and information regarding brain death should be included. We need more organs and it's all of our responsibility to promote organ donation. Secondly, the section on post-transplantation should include more information regarding infections and general health guidelines, such as avoiding crowds, preparing foods, gardening, sun exposure, etc. These additions may help to prepare families and ensure a smooth transition to a post-transplant lifestyle.
Assessment: This book includes a wide variety of interesting yet nonessential topics (xenotransplantatation and eye bank issues), covers several topics very well (financial issues and transplant medications) and underrepresents several areas such as organ donation and post-transplantation care. However, this is an excellent effort for a first edition. It should be used as an adjunct to educational tools provided by the transplant center for a comprehensive view of transplantation for patients and families facing transplantation.