Oxford Handbook of Anaesthesia

Oxford Handbook of Anaesthesia

British Journal of Anaesthesia 89 (2): 346±8 (2002) Book Reviews Oxford Handbook of Anaesthesia. 1st Edn. Keith G. Allman and Iain H. Wilson. Publish...

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British Journal of Anaesthesia 89 (2): 346±8 (2002)

Book Reviews Oxford Handbook of Anaesthesia. 1st Edn. Keith G. Allman and Iain H. Wilson. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford. Pp. 1139; indexed. Price £19.99. ISBN 0192632736. This book is aimed at anaesthetists who have received at least basic training and is a practical introduction to giving an anaesthetic in different circumstances. The introduction states that the choice of material has been somewhat selective but a large amount of material is covered. Although designed for carrying around in a coat pocket, the book is actually 5 cm thick and weighs about 1 kg, so it is not an insubstantial tome. Because of these dimensions, the book is slightly dif®cult to keep open when reading and there is a tendency to strain the spine, but the paper is of good quality and is unlikely to rip. The editors are two anaesthetists from the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, and practitioners from Exeter or the South West Region have written most of the chapters. There is a useful list of abbreviations at the beginning of the book and at the end there is a large appendix on drugs, a comprehensive list of normal values, a machine checklist, some useful website addresses and ®nally, an extremely good index. There are also algorithms for advanced life support for adults, failed intubation and management of suspected anaphylaxis, within the inside covers. The book itself is divided into eight parts starting with preoperative assessment then ranging through the surgical specialties and ®nally covering acute pain and regional anaesthesia. The problems of caring for the critically ill patient are mostly covered within the various specialties and are generally not considered in any great depth apart from the problems of transfers. The authors of the various chapters have been asked to describe their standard technique for various operations. Each operative procedure is classi®ed by a description, then by the time usually taken, degree of pain felt, position of the patient, likely blood loss and a suggested anaesthetic technique. Most of the chapters have very few references to guide further reading. Although the book is meant to be concise, and therefore uses a small font, there is a large amount of wasted space; many pages are barely half full. This makes the layout clearer but a bit of judicious editing could well have reduced the overall thickness. There are few spelling errors, but unfortunately, the ®rst one is in the disclaimer at the very front of the book. Some American English has crept in, but generally the book is easy to read. In such a concise book, there are bound to be areas where one could quibble with the choice and depth of coverage of topics. However, I think trainees will ®nd this handbook useful for dipping into during their clinical practice, when faced with a procedure or problem they have not come across before. It represents good value for money. P. Nightingale Manchester, UK

Ó The Board of Management and Trustees of the British Journal of Anaesthesia 2002