J. McCormack and K. Kelly
Edinburgh, UK: Oxford University Press, 2014
Price £39.99 (∼€56), 512pp; ISBN 978-0-19-870486-7
This is the first edition of the Oxford Case Histories in Anaesthesia and is the latest addition to the series of books published by Oxford Case Histories (Neurology, Gastroenterology and Hepatology). It looks in detail at 60 clinical scenarios from various sub-specialities of anaesthesia and intensive care in a Question and Answer format. The contributors are senior anaesthetists who are experts in their chosen sub-speciality. This book goes through the various cases that are encountered in the day-to-day life of an anaesthetist. It can be used for reference by trainee anaesthetists in their daily practice, or in preparation for exams, or as part of the departmental library.
The authors have covered some extremely interesting topics such as ‘How to deal with serious incident under anaesthesia’, ‘Theatre productivity’ and ‘The uncooperative child’ all of which are not well covered in other books, and certainly not in the same book. There are 15 chapters covering most sub-specialities in including transfer and retrieval medicine and pain Medicine, and it deals with majority of the serious conditions encountered in anaesthetic practice and their management. The majority of the topics start with a background, learning objectives and a case history. The history unfolds as the discussion progresses and there is a detailed explanation to every issue raised with reference to the latest guidelines The reader can compare his decisions with those of the authors. Some topics are covered in a question and answer format, as that is how most anaesthetists would deal with those particular scenarios. It is difficult to cover all the topics relating to anaesthetics in one book, and I would have liked to have seen something on electroconvulsive therapy and a section on old age anaesthesia as patients in this age group are becoming more common.
Overall this is an excellent book for all grades of anaesthetic trainees, SAS doctors and for staff who may have to work outside of their normal practice. While experts in the UK have written this book, it should appeal to anaesthetists across Europe as cases and patient population will be familiar. The protocols and guidelines used in the UK are not that different to those used in the rest of Europe or, for that matter, in the USA. There may be a few differences of opinion, but by reading about these differences the reader can enhance their understanding of the subject.
Specialist Trainee in Anaesthetics
Royal Derby Hospitals NHS Trust, UK