Once a preemie, always a preemie.
Premature birth is known to have lifelong consequences for respiratory health. While this has long been recognized for extremely premature or very low birthweight infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a growing body of data indicates significant impact even on moderate and late preterm (32–37 weeks gestation) infants. Respiratory Outcomes in Preterm Infants: From Infancy Through Adulthood addresses the known or latent effects of prematurity on respiratory health as well as their mechanisms and management.
The chapters are written by neonatologists, pediatric and adult pulmonologists, and otolaryngologists, each well qualified to address the content. It also contains an up-to-date review and interpretation of the literature.
While the book is intended for “physicians and nurses caring for these patients,” the authors speak best to their own specialties. For example, a pulmonologist issues a call for pulmonologists to obtain birth history in adults. Adults born prematurely have a significantly increased risk of emphysema, making smoking cessation and pollution avoidance particularly important. Unfortunately, there are no anesthesiologists among the authors and perioperative management of these patients receives little to no coverage. A passing mention of anesthesia induction as a potential trigger for pulmonary hypertensive crisis, for instance, is about as close to comprehensive as the authors get on this subject. The anesthesia literature regarding the increased risk of perioperative respiratory complications for those born prematurely is not covered at all.
In comparing the digital and print versions, I would recommend the digital version. It makes good use of direct links to additional information from the authors and referenced articles. Image quality is also slightly better than the print version. While the eBook version allows changes in font size to facilitate reading, the subsequent change in page length means the index does not work. The PDF version does not have this index problem.
This book would be most appreciated by those practitioners seeking a thorough overview of the respiratory impact of prematurity throughout the lifespan. For anesthesiologists looking for perioperative management advice for premature and formerly premature patients, however, this book is unlikely to provide much practical advice or research-backed guidelines.
Robert Christensen, MD
Department of Anesthesiology
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan