Daniel Aston, Angus Rivers, Asela Dharmadasa, Scion Publishing Limited, 2014, Price £37.50 (€44), ISBN 978 1 907904 05 9
Despite the extensive range and complex nature of the equipment used to practise safe anaesthesia and care for the critically ill patient, there remains a limited selection of literature to choose from when tackling this subject. Physics and equipment play a central role in the study of anaesthesia and can be a daunting prospect for those starting out in their anaesthetic careers.
The authors of this book are senior trainees in anaesthesia and critical care who have all completed the UK Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA) examination in the recent past so appreciate the specific requirements of those studying for postgraduate examinations. They have produced a well researched text that has been carefully matched to the FRCA syllabus, covering all the components in a thorough, yet clear and concise manner.
The chapters have been broadly classified into related subjects and then subdivided into specific sections. Each section follows the same simple layout to produce a logical format that is easy to read and may also aid examination technique. Following a brief overview and list of uses for the piece of equipment in question, the bulk of the text concerns a description of how it works. Other useful headings include relative advantages and disadvantages, and a list of safety precautions.
To further improve the user friendly nature of this book, there is a suitable balance of text to pictures. Using a combination of diagrams, graphs and tables to illustrate certain concepts and make relevant comparisons helps engage the reader and provide clarity. The diagrams and graphs used are all simple and easily reproducible in an examination scenario to aid explanation.
The final chapter comprises sample examination questions, including examples of multiple choice questions, short answer questions and viva questions. Only the answers to the multiple choice questions are included, as the rest of the information can be found in the text.
In summary, this book provides an easy-to-read, clear and comprehensive guide to the equipment used in anaesthesia and critical care and would be useful for all those revising for postgraduate examinations. It would also provide a useful aide to those already established in their careers who may be assisting trainees in their examination preparation or who require an update in recent advances in equipment and monitoring techniques, especially equipment not used in everyday practice.
Dr Georgina Pipe
Specialty Trainee in Anaesthesia
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust,
E-mail: [email protected]