Handbook of Obstetric Anaesthesia
C. M. Palmer, R. D'Angelo, M. J. Peach (eds)
Bios Scientific Publishers: Oxford, UK, 2002, 265 pp; indexed, illustrated
ISBN: 1-85996-232-7; Price £60.00
This book is edited by three well-known specialists in obstetric anaesthesia from the USA and Australia, together with six other contributors. Its purpose is to provide, in 17 chapters, a comprehensive course of clinical management for the most common problems encountered in obstetric analgesia and anaesthesia.
The layout of the book is fairly conventional, starting with anatomical and physiological changes of pregnancy, fetal assessment and pharmacology, then progressing through regional analgesia for labour. The latter includes alternative methods of labour analgesia, anaesthesia and postoperative analgesia for Caesarean section. Obstetric pathology is also included with information on pregnancy-induced hypertension, haemorrhage, obesity complications and coexisting diseases. Finally there are chapters on neonatal resuscitation and obstetric anaesthesia in the developing world.
As the authors state in the preface, this book is not intended to be an exhaustive reference textbook but a quick consultation manual for anaesthesiologists both in training and in practice. It contains many Tables and Figures to reinforce key concepts. However, it does not provide the usual references that accompany such information. References in any text are necessary and should be included in order to reinforce validity of the information provided. The manual does, however, includes a 'further reading' section following each chapter.
The brief chapter on neonatal resuscitation, given the importance of such a topic, should have been expanded to include more-detailed information on the various problems encountered and their management. The last chapter on obstetric anaesthesia in the developing world is new and interesting, but would be more appropriate in a standard textbook rather than in a practical manual.
All three of the authors are full-time, well-experienced obstetric anaesthesiologists and this book reflects their own personal clinical experiences as well as standard practice. Much of the information contained in this manual is a result of mutual exchanges of clinical practice among expert colleagues, and will be particularly useful for trainees and experienced obstetric anaesthesiologists alike.