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Book Reviews

A Practical Approach to Cardiac Anesthesia, 3rd edition

Kimberley, A. P. S.

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European Journal of Anaesthesiology: September 2003 - Volume 20 - Issue 9 - p 761-762
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A Practical Approach to Cardiac Anesthesia,3rd edition

F. A. Hensley Jr, D. E. Martin, G. P. Gravlee (eds)

Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia, USA, 2002, 733 pp; indexed, illustrated

ISBN 0-7817-3444-4; Price £50.00 (pbk)

The preface to this new edition highlights the changes that have taken place in cardiac anaesthesia and surgery since the last edition of 1995, as this subspeciality continues to evolve. Particularly featured are discussions of fast-track recovery after surgery, the differing requirements of off-pump coronary artery bypass grafting and, probably most welcome of all, a chapter on transoesophageal echocardiography. The latter chapter is very good, with a useful description of the underlying physics, clear diagrams and valuable advice.

A multi-author work - this has fifty-five contributors - inevitably carries variations of emphasis and inconsistencies in its text. However, the editors have produced a remarkably consistent overall appearance, with key points in bold type and a clear page layout. The index is good and the coverage within the text near comprehensive for the cardiothoracic anaesthetist/anesthesiologist. There is perhaps a slightly artificial distinction between routine and emergency cases, while the sectional layout (Anesthetic Management for Cardiac Surgery, Anesthetic Management of Specific Cardiac Disorders, Circulatory Support and Organ Preservation) leads to some duplication and a need to refer back and forth, if specific advice is sought. However, many of the chapters are excellent, with clear, if didactic, instruction for the trainee, as well as help for the established practitioner.

For the European reader, availability and nomenclature of drugs may be an issue, and some areas of discussion, such as socio-economic and historical facets may be interesting, but their value in a daily reference book may be questioned. There is perhaps a case to be made for a two-volume work, the first covering theory, history, physics and anatomy; the second a small, practical pocket reference book.

No textbook can be perfect. Problems for this reader with A Practical Approach to Cardiac Anesthesia include the size of many of the diagrams. While some are excellent, others, including many flow charts and some practical illustrations (e.g. Figs 3-10, internal jugular vein cannulation), are so small as to be confusing. This is made more so by the exclusive use of monochrome line drawings. While this may have arisen from a need to keep size and costs under control, the editors claim that this book is pocket sized, certainly finds no favour with the reviewer's tailor. If the cost of the book is suitable to the reader's pocket, however, the reviewer would recommend it strongly.

A. P. S. Kimberley

London, UK

8th Annual Toronto Critical Care Medicine Symposium

October 30-November 1, 2003

The Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Symposium Chair: Dr. Brian Kavanagh Scientific Committee Chair: Dr. John Granton

This 3-day symposium focuses on topics relevant to individuals involved in the care of critically ill patients. Thematic/plenary sessions provided by leaders in critical care as well as small group sessions and state-of-the-art reviews are featured. The opportunity for interaction with faculty is a priority of the meeting.

Information and registration: Ms June Hylands; TCCMS; 344 Lakeshore Rd. E., Suite B, Oakville, ON, Canada, L6J 1J6; Tel: 905-849-8299; Fax: 905-849-8606; Email: [email protected]; Website:

© 2003 European Academy of Anaesthesiology