E Scarth & S Smith
Oxford University Press: Oxford, UK, 2016
Pp 448; £34.99 (∼€41), ISBN 978-0-19-876881-4
Drugs in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care is a pocket-sized A to Z formulary, now in its fifth edition. The authors’ aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of all the commonly used drugs in anaesthesia and intensive care and a companion for postgraduate examination preparation.
The fifth edition continues to use the same A to Z layout of 184 drugs resulting in a quick reference guide that is very easy to navigate. The structured format with clearly labelled sections remains the same, making it easy to study pharmacology in a systematic fashion and it provides a framework that can be used to both revise the pharmacology of drugs and to describe their features during examinations. The introduction of chemical structures and the use of drug comparison tables for volatile and induction agents further its use as a revision tool. There is a lot of information condensed onto each page; however, the spacious layout and use of coloured text and italic font makes it easy to digest. The use of a ‘special points’ section for each drug provides information regarding interactions and clinical uses giving the book a clinical feel and making reading less dry. The inclusion of two indexes directing the reader to drugs by name or drugs for certain medical uses is a good feature. This allows the book to be used as both a pocket reference guide and a revision companion.
The updated content, the removal of obsolete drugs and the introduction of newer agents make it more current. However, while this book has been revised and updated, it is disappointing to see recurring mistakes from previous editions regarding drug dosing. Although this is not a formulary to be used to prescribe medication, readers will become familiar with dosing regimes whilst reading this text.
In summary, this pocket-sized reference guide continues to provide very useful information regarding common drugs used in anaesthesia and intensive care in one book. The recent revision of the text and the addition of drug structures and comparison tables make it extremely useful for postgraduate exam revision. The easy to read format and bullet point style make it a very useful book for all healthcare professionals in anaesthesia and intensive care.
Specialty Registrar in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care