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Book review

Clinical Anesthesia Procedures of the Massachusetts General Hospital; 9th edn

European Journal of Anaesthesiology: February 2016 - Volume 33 - Issue 2 - p 156
doi: 10.1097/EJA.0000000000000389
  • Free

R.M. Pino (ed). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2015; pp 768; $64.99 (∼€58) ISBN 978-1-4511-9515-6

Now in its ninth edition, the title of this book belies its scope and breadth. The small, almost pocket-sized volume attempts to encompass the whole of clinical anaesthesia alongside clinical physiology and pharmacology.

The book consists of 41 separate chapters which are organised into three sections: pre-operative assessment, administration of anaesthesia, and perioperative issues. This is then followed by an appendix of commonly used drugs and antibiotics. Each chapter is co-written written by a different trainee (resident) and senior (Board Certified anesthesiologist) author. The book includes an interactive eBook which can be downloaded to smartphone and tablet or accessed online, but unfortunately this feature was not available at time of review.

The first section outlines the approach to pre-operative assessment and in addition contains chapters directly addressing the relevance of dysfunction of each organ system to clinical anaesthesia. The second section contains chapters on safety, pharmacology, monitoring, generic intra-operative complications and regional anaesthesia. It then moves on to chapters relating to anaesthetic subspecialties of which vary in their detail, with some describing anaesthetic technique and complications for common procedures and others just outlining general principles. The perioperative section has chapters addressing issues in recovery from anaesthesia, transfusion practice and pain management. The chapters on care of the geriatric patient, care of the neonate, complementary medicine and ethical issues are useful and interesting additions which are not often found in other similar works.

Overall I thought this book was impressive in scope and execution. My only criticisms are that the text is a little dense, and therefore encourages use as a reference book rather than reading through from start to finish. The US flavour of the book may dissuade some European anaesthetists, with acronyms and all guidelines predictably tailored to the North American market. In addition, the pain section of the book only tackles the management of acute and perioperative pain, and the varied style of each chapter means that some are weaker than others. Despite this I would recommend it as a valuable reference book for any practising anaesthetist. It would also be beneficial for trainees sitting higher clinical examinations.

Joel Swindin

Specially Registrar in Anaesthesia

Nottingham, UK

© 2016 European Society of Anaesthesiology