Recent Advances in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care – 22 A. P. Adams, J. N. Cashman, R. M. Grounds (eds) Greenwich Medical Media: London, UK, 2003, 308 pp; indexed, illustrated ISBN: 1–84110–117–6; Price £24.50
Revalidation – a word that strikes irritation and apathy into the heart of many a doctor. Nevertheless, the concept of revalidation is one that is set to remain with us for the foreseeable future. A significant proportion of the process will involve doctors providing evidence that they undertake ‘continuous professional development’, in order to keep abreast of theoretical and technological progress in their medical specialty – and that is where the Recent Advances series come into their own.
I have always been a fan of these compilations. Sure, the pace of book publishing often lags behind that of medical advance, such that the information contained in these books are already dated. In addition, they are not the most comprehensive of reviews, but they do serve as interesting and well-informed updates on a range of ‘hot topics’. As such, they provide valuable information for consultant and junior anaesthetists.
It is interesting to see how different aspects of the practice of anaesthesia assume prominence over time. Recent Advances in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care – 22, for instance, includes greater emphases on acute and intensive anaesthetic management than previous editions (formerly entitled Recent Advances in Anaesthesia and Analgesia). In addition, three of the 12 chapters – which to this reviewer's mind are the best chapters in the book – are concerned with clinical governance matters: Chapter 9 ‘Managing medical mishaps: learning lessons from industry’, Chapter 10 ‘Legal issues in anaesthesia and intensive care’ and Chapter 11 ‘Education and training in anaesthesia’. Although of less personal interest, Chapter 1, an excellent overview of the COX enzyme system, also particularly impressed me as a topic, which will be surely of importance to all anaesthetists, in terms of future options for postoperative pain relief.
In short, an admirable addition to a popular and highly regarded series.
S. M. White