William H. Rosenblatt and Wanda M. Popescu
Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2015; pp346; £85 (∼€89.95)
This is a beautifully presented first edition (hardback) with inclusive eBook and online videos. The authors are clinicians at the Yale University School of Medicine, both specialising in the field of difficult airway management. In addition, the book has contributions from over 100 clinicians from around the world. All of this has culminated in the production of over 300 pages, two parts, 21 sections and 148 topics on airway management.
The first thing one notices is the obvious attention to detail that has gone into its layout. Management is split into upper and lower airway, with subsequent sections based around pathologies or airway topics. Each topic is written by one or two contributors, and is approximately two pages long, with an initial clinical scenario being used to highlight the relevance. Pictures and reference to the online videos can be found throughout. The topics start with a general discussion around the case, and then focus on airway concerns and management. The authors often outline their preferred method of airway control, and the topics are ended with suggested reading references. The topic list is expansive and exhaustive, and grouped together appropriately as so to not feel disjointed or cumbersome.
The online platform is a nice touch, with each book being provided with a unique reference code for accessing materials. The videos are from real life cases and clinical encounters, and although they come across as a little unfinished, they provide a certain ‘reality TV’ experience. The website flows, and content is easy to access and stream.
Overall, reading a topic at a time, I can see how the book could provide support and be a point of reference for any clinician dealing with airway management. However, for those with a broader experience looking to try and consolidate knowledge about some of the many novel airway management techniques that now exists, this book feels a little lacking. There is no meaningful comparison of different techniques and much comes down to author preference.
Airway management is difficult to teach in a book, and whilst there are many good things to be found here, I came away feeling as if it should be retitled ‘Anaesthesia: with consideration for the airway’.
Dr Kristofor Inkpin
Clinical Fellow in Anaesthesia (Airway)
Nottingham University Hospitals