FA Hensley, DE Martin, GP Gravlee (eds)
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia, USA, 2012
Pp 837: Price €76.00 (£63.00 & US$97.99)
The fifth edition of this book, this latest version claims to provide ‘an easily accessible, practical reference designed to help the practitioner prepare for and manage cardiac anesthetics’. I think the book delivers what it intends, with a much better presentation than the previous edition published in 2008.
A paperback textbook, it has 27 chapters organised in five sections with more than 50 authors, mainly North American. The use of good gloss paper means the illustrations, both diagrams and ECHO images, are high quality and easy to understand. The text is of an acceptable size with appropriate use of bold letters to highlight salient features and sub-headings. I especially appreciated the use of key points at the beginning of each chapter, acting as a prelude to the rest of the text and making it more intriguing for the reader. Overall, the book has appropriate use of colour illustrations and tables making it easy for quick reference.
The two basic science chapters ‘cardiovascular physiology: a primer’ and ‘Cardiovascular drugs’ at the beginning of the book set the tone for rest of the book, providing a reasonably elaborate but clear understanding for young anaesthetic trainees aspiring to learn cardiac anaesthesia. The growing population of patients with congenital heart conditions with full or partial correction passing to adulthood means they increasingly present for both cardiac and non-cardiac surgical procedures. A separate chapter on the management of congenital heart disease in adults is a welcome inclusion in this edition and the non-cardiac anaesthetist may find it useful to have an understanding on the principles of management of these patients.
Two chapters have been dedicated to the management of blood transfusion and coagulation abnormalities, signifying the need for increased understanding in the appropriate use of blood products. The renewed understanding of the physiology of coagulation is well illustrated with flow diagrams. I feel that point of care testing for coagulation could have been elaborated with more illustrations.
This book is of great practical value and will find its place in both personal and departmental collection. It outlines all the essential topics of cardiac anaesthesia. With the expansion of polytrauma and its care across the globe, a separate chapter on cardiothoracic trauma management might be worth considering for inclusion in future editions.
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust