Media Reviews: Media Review
Basics of Pediatric Anesthesia: Tablet Edition by Dr. Ronald S. Litman, Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, is an e-book intended for anesthesiology residents and student nurse anesthetists beginning to learn pediatric anesthesiology. As such, it is not a comprehensive textbook; rather, it is intended as a primer for students on their pediatric anesthesiology rotation and assumes that the reader has already grasped the fundamentals of adult anesthesiology. It is the goal of the author to highlight the differences between adults and children with respect to pharmacology, physiology, and surgical procedures. Basics is a reincarnation of the printed Requisites series which no longer exists. This e-book is self-published by the author.
The author openly states that he has taken a “jocose [humorous] approach to the writing in this book.” While there is nothing overtly offensive with his approach, at times it is distracting. It should be noted that Dr. Litman’s intent is to create a more enjoyable experience for the learner. There are 6 sections in the book, and none of the information builds on material from a previous chapter so that it is easy to skip around. Section 1 covers the anesthetic implications of the transition from fetal to neonatal circulation as well as developmental physiology and pharmacology. Section 2 highlights pediatric diseases by system. Section 3 covers anesthetic management. Section 4 explores common pediatric surgical procedures. Section 5 is a primer on pediatric pain management. Finally, Section 6 examines the critically ill pediatric patient.
There are excellent, colorful pictures and diagrams throughout the book. Tables are simple to read and easy to comprehend. Something you would never be able to get with a traditional printed book are educational videos, and the author does a wonderful job of incorporating those into his e-book (e.g., 1 video demonstrates how a “jaw thrust lifts the child’s epiglottis off the posterior pharyngeal wall.” p. 162) For a medical student, student registered nurse anesthetist, or resident new to pediatric anesthesiology, such images will prove to be of great benefit.
An extremely useful interactive feature is the highlighting section, which enables readers to highlight any portions of the e-book as well as write in their own notes. There are 5 highlighter color choices, an underlining function as well as a study card feature. These options help create a more interactive learning experience with an opportunity for learners to customize the organization of their notes. The study card feature allows readers to create their own note cards and quiz themselves. However, the e-book does not contain any quizzes or questions, which would have been useful.
Basics of Pediatric Anesthesia: Tablet Edition is an easy-to-read, interactive, and comprehensive introduction to pediatric anesthesiology. While it is intended for learners new to the field of pediatric anesthesiology, its nominal price, portability, and interactive features also make it attractive to those physicians taking the subspecialty board examination in pediatric anesthesiology. It should be noted, however, that the book is not intended to follow the American Board of Anesthesiology outline for this examination and therefore may not be as comprehensive or in depth as the examination itself. Still, it serves as a good starting point for someone who is beginning to study for the examination as it may help individuals identify areas needing further study.
It should be noted that there is a Kindle version of this e-book available; however, it is predominantly text and does not have the same media features (figures, videos, and pictures) as the iPad version. As such, it is lower in price at $9.99.
Monica Shah Ganatra, MD, MPH
Department of Anesthesiology
Yale University School of Medicine
New Haven, Connecticut