A Practice of Anesthesia for Infants and Children,3rd edition
C. J. Coté, I. D. Todres, N. G. Goudsouzian, J. F. Ryan (eds)
Saunders: Philadelphia, USA, 2001, 777 pp; indexed, illustrated
ISBN: 0-7216-7286-8; Price £60.00
The third edition of a 'standard text' has built admirably upon previous versions. The authorship is entirely North American but with a multiple rather than single institution base, which characterized previous editions. Thus, a wider view than before of the practice of paediatric anaesthesia is presented by an impressive array of authors in their respective fields.
Subject matter has also been widened with the inclusion of chapters on the psychological development of the child, ethical issues in paediatric anaesthesia, outpatient anaesthesia and an excellent chapter on anaesthesia for children with repaired or palliated congenital heart disease. This recognizes the increasing likelihood of coming across these children in one's own practice. Certainly it has been a very timely chapter for me.
Each chapter's heading and sub-heading structure, summarily presented at its start, is then clearly followed in an attractive, two-column per (slightly less than A4) page text. This is generously interspersed with informative figures, tables and drawings, all of which I found made for easy reading. Extensive reference lists support the didactic teaching style of the text with evidence of searches typically to 1998 or later in some instances.
There seems little, if anything, to which one cannot find reference in this very complete and logically organized book. Indeed, it exudes practical applicability as well as academic richness. This includes such conundrums as what to do with the child with a runny nose or the problems of babies disappearing inside scanners. Repetitions occurred infrequently and, as the initial overview chapter emphasized, usually referred to important subjects such as apnoea and the former pre-term infant.
The book is a well-matured product that engagingly meets the needs of the readership to which it aspires, students and seasoned practitioners alike in paediatric anaesthesia. Unless you really cannot cope with American spelling and the occasional reference to longish-sounding surgical times, then I believe that you would find its purchase to be money very well spent.
A. P. Fisher