Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia. Edited by David L. Brown. Philadelphia, W. B. Saunders Company, 1996. Pages 764. Price: $135.00.
Dr. Brown states in the Preface that this book is “designed to fill the need for a clinically focused textbook of regional anesthesia and analgesia.” It may serve as a companion to his previous book: Atlas of Regional Anesthesia, in that the clinical applications are much more thoroughly discussed. The target audience includes physicians in‐training and in practice. It is divided into five major sections: development of regional anesthesia; basic science of regional anesthesia; induction of regional anesthesia; concurrent medical problems, side effects, and complications with regional anesthesia; and regional anesthesia and analgesia in practice. There are 59 contributors, most of whom are recognized authorities in their field. The clinical focus means that the contributors use their experience to help the reader apply these techniques in the clinical arena. Basic science and clinical studies are extensively cited, but there is a welcome synthesis of most material that makes the information useful to the practitioner. This is especially true for the sections on induction of regional anesthesia and the section on regional anesthesia and analgesia in practice. From these sections, the practitioner can gain comprehensive guidance in their practice. Here one can find approaches to specific surgeries like regional anesthesia for herniorrhaphy, carotid endarterectomy, mastectomy, and awake craniotomy.
Each chapter is “stand‐alone,” therefore there is some (but not excessive) overlap. There has been editing for uniformity of terminology. The book is nicely indexed for quick reference.
The initial two chapters are an outstanding, concise review of the history and development of regional anesthesia. It is interesting and important for the subspecialty.
This handsome book has 699 illustrations including pictures, classic radiographs, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans, cadaveric prosections, and some spectacular full‐color digital reconstructions of anatomy (the last of which are impressive but actually add little to comprehension). One of the most appealing aspects of the book is the all new set of illustrations by David A. Factor. Mr. Factor should be warmly congratulated for his contributions to the field of regional anesthesia because the novice and inexperienced practitioner depend highly on illustrations from such a book to comprehend anatomy and gain success in practice. The precision, shading, and clarity of his drawings add an understandable, three‐dimensional perspective this reviewer has not seen in previous textbooks.
The inclusion of pain management and obstetrics is an ambitious undertaking for a book like this. Their inclusion allows some discussion of all aspects of regional anesthesia and analgesia, but the coverage is less comprehensive than other textbooks. To this reviewer, the value of these chapters is in overview of therapeutic options and identification of controversies rather than guidance in specific applications (seen in earlier chapters). The contents of the chapter on “Outcome After Epidural Anesthesia and Analgesia” is important for every anesthesiologist to know.
I am delighted to recommend this book to the addition of every anesthesia department library. It will be a valuable resource for the practitioner to help avail our patients to the growing popularity and benefits of regional anesthesia.
Stephen M. Rupp, M.D.
Chief, Department of Anesthesiology; Virginia Mason Medical Center
1100 Ninth Avenue, Mail Stop B2‐AN
Post Office Box 900; Seattle, Washington 98111
© 1997 American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.