J Symons, P Myles, R Mehra and C Ball, Wiley Blackwell; 2015. ISBN 978-1-118-77916-3, Price £39.95/€54.00
Targeted at medical students and junior doctors beginning their careers, the first edition of this title provides an overview of the growing specialty of perioperative medicine. The authors have aimed to create an easy-to-read, yet diverse text, providing an insight into this field. The accompanying online material can be accessed either through the website manually, or by scanning one of the many QR codes within the book.
The editorial team of four anaesthetists specialising in perioperative care and education have assembled articles from a number of Australian and international specialists, providing up-to-date and practical knowledge on their fields in relation to the perioperative period.
The book is divided into nine well-structured sections relating to the patient's perioperative journey. The initial chapters are targeted at those just entering the world of anaesthesia and perioperative care, with a general introduction to perioperative medicine and the basics of risk assessment. There is also a description of more advanced topics, such as myocardial imaging and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. There is a section covering the perioperative management of medications, which includes guideline-based practical advice, for example on the management of anticoagulation and antibiotic prophylaxis. The largest section of the book contains 48 short chapters on a variety of conditions. The chapters are succinct, covering definitions, classifications, diagnostic criteria, severity scoring systems, and key points to consider in managing perioperative care. An impressive array of conditions is considered - ranging from common cardiovascular and respiratory diseases to rarer conditions such as carcinoid. There are also chapters on obstetric and psychiatric diseases, and on a variety of presentations of major trauma. Key medical, surgical and anaesthetic considerations are provided for all the topics, and crucial points not to be missed are clearly highlighted. The remaining sections cover general postoperative care, again with diverse topics ranging from the choice of anti-emetics, to the basics of invasive ventilation to postoperative analgesia including acute-on-chronic pain scenarios. The online companion contains a further two sections: one with a number of case studies on commonly encountered conditions and a second with practical approaches to interpreting investigations such as blood gases.
Overall the authors have achieved their aim of delivering an easy-to-read book, covering a diverse range of relevant and interesting topics. Important themes are well covered, and practical advice given with reference to evidence based guidelines and protocols. The chapters are interesting and contain plentiful figures and images to maintain engagement. The text is well-referenced throughout. Although much of the text is necessarily superficial in detail to cater for the target audience, there is sufficient breadth to stimulate interest for more senior clinicians. This book will undoubtedly be a useful starting point for any clinician involved in perioperative care.
Avninder S Chana
Specialist Trainee in Anaesthesia