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Obstetric Anesthesia

Flood, Pamela MD

doi: 10.1213/01.ane.0000336114.24053.f4
Book and Multimedia Reviews: Media Review

Department of Anesthesiology; Columbia University Medical Center; New York, NY;

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Obstetric Anesthesia

Vasdev G, ed. Anesthesiology Clinics. Vol. 26, No. 1, Philadelphia: Saunders/Elsevier, 2008. ISSN 1-4160-6062-6. 240 pages. $220.00 annual subscription for 4 issues.

The March issue of Anesthesiology Clinics edited by Gurinder Vasdev reviews the topic of obstetric anesthesia. The volume contains 13 articles and appears a bit of a hodge-podge, but contains several perennially important topics, including obstetric hemorrhage, the use of vasopressors in obstetrics, and the obstetric airway, in addition to more current topics such as the use of ultrasound to facilitate regional anesthesia and remifentanil in labor. The authors of the chapters are clearly experts in their fields, a virtual “Who's Who” in the Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology.

Although the reasons some topics were included are not clear, several articles make the whole volume worthwhile. The chapter “Anticoagulation in Pregnancy and Neuraxial Blocks” justifies placing this volume in the OB Anesthesia Attending on-call room for reference. The chapter presents current indications for anticoagulation in pregnancy, common regimens, and gives practical advice on how to consider regional anesthesia in each setting. The presentation is authoritative yet simple and is accompanied by helpful tables. Reading this chapter is like having the opportunity to sit down with the ASRA consensus panel and having them explain what to do for your patient!

There is also a well-done chapter on the history of obstetric anesthesia that derives lessons on professionalism. As interesting as the chapter is, it would have been better as a preface. The chapter on “Anesthesia for the Pregnant HIV Patient” covers the results of recent ground-breaking epidemiological trials on maternal-fetal HIV transmission and gives practical recommendations for practice. The chapter on ultrasound-facilitated epidurals provides practical advice on this emerging technique and makes one want to take the ultrasound probe out of the obstetrician's hand next time when a challenging labor epidural is requested.

In summary, the chapter on “Anticoagulation in Pregnancy and Neuraxial Blocks” is enough reason to go out and buy this volume. The trainee will find the chapters authoritative but not comprehensive. The expert in obstetric anesthesia will find some chapters useful as a reference and most of the volume well written and enjoyable.

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Receipt of the books listed below is acknowledged. Selected books from this list will be reviewed in future issues of the Journal.

The Journal solicits reviews of new books from its readers. If you wish to submit a review, before proceeding please send a letter of intent, identifying the book in question, to Dr. Norig Ellison, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. The Journal reserves the right of final decision on publication.

Bellamy M, Struys M: ANAESTHESIA FOR THE OVERWEIGHT AND OBESE PATIENT, Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 2007. 108 pages.

Cross M, Plunkett E: PHYSICS, PHARMACOLOGY, AND PHYSIOLOGY FOR ANAESTHETISTS, Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 2008. 247 pages, $56.00.

Smith CE (ed): TRAUMA ANAESTHESIA, Cambridge Univ. Press, New York, 2008. 606 pages, $99.00.

Westphal M, Ertmer C (eds): THE VASOPRESSIN SYSTEM: PHYSIOLOGY AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE TREATMENT OF SHOCK, Vol. 22, No. 2 in Best Practice & Research, Elsevier, Phila., 2008. 164 pages, $198.00 subscription for four issues or $71.00 for a single issue.

Wittink HM, Carr DB (eds): PAIN MANAGEMENT: EVIDENCE, OUTCOMES, AND QUALITY OF LIFE, Elsevier, Phila., 2008. $99.95, 428 pages, −DVD.

Pamela Flood, MD

Department of Anesthesiology

Columbia University Medical Center

New York, NY

© 2008 International Anesthesia Research Society