Physics for the Anaesthetist (2nd edition)

Physics for the Anaesthetist (2nd edition)

300 BRITISH JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIA of paramount importance, and in Chapter 8 the emphasis on the cumulative effect of trichloroethylene, as compared...

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300

BRITISH JOURNAL OF ANAESTHESIA

of paramount importance, and in Chapter 8 the emphasis on the cumulative effect of trichloroethylene, as compared with the absence of such in the case of nitrous oxide and air, is very apt. I fear that the boiling of masks for ten minutes, as described on page 51, would ruin them. Having noted these points I heartily recommend this practical manual to the attention of all those engaged in analgesia in childbirth, and I feel sure it will prove of great assistance to them in their work. R. J. Minnitt

These are volumes that any doctor would be proud to possess. A foreword by Lord Cohen of Birkenhead calls attention to many of the articles which deal with problems that every doctor will sooner or later come across in practice. It is impossible to suppose that he could fail to be helped by this perusal or that his patients would not so benefit. There are extensive bibliographies and references to every article. In the publishers' announcement at the beginning of the Cumulative Supplement directions are given as to how to make the best use of these volumes. Here, then, is a mine of information and how to dig it out. The possession of them is probably the quickest way. E. Falkner Hill Physics for the Anaesthetist (2nd edition). By Sir R. R. Macintosh, Professor W. W. Mushin and Dr. H. G. Epstein. Published by Blackwell, Oxford. Pp. 443; illustrated. Price 60s. The return of Physics for the Anaesthetist to the shelves of our bookshops is welcome. The authors make a brave attempt to present to the anaesthetist those aspects of physics which are of interest to him. This new volume is much larger than its predecessor, and this is the result of the inclusion of new subjects, rather than of expansion of the old book. In fact, the first edition is reproduced almost in its entirety, the only major

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The British Encyclopedia of Medical Practice 1957 (2nd edition). Published by Messrs. Butterworth & Co., 88 Kingsway, London, W.C.2. Price £45 10s. (or by 50 monthly instalments of £1 and a final one of 15s.).

change being in the chapter on gas flows. The new material consists of a chapter on the reducing valve and a section on explosions. The chapter on the reducing valve might be thought excessively long. As regards its physical principles it is a simple component which in these days of rapidly expanding curriculum should not require thirty-five pages of text for its description. The section on explosions covers the physicochemical aspects of combustion in some detail. This section, however, lacks the clarity of description which is such a refreshing feature of the older parts of the book. This is perhaps most prominent in the account of electrostatics, where the approach is not one from the first principles. A remarkable omission from a book on physics for anaesthetists is the lack of any reference to the relationships between the tensions of a spherical membrane and the pressure difference between its two sides. It is upon such tension that the negative pressure within the chest depends, as does the pressure produced by manual compression of rebreathing bags. A brief account of the physical principles involved would not have been inappropriate. Those of us responsible for the teaching of physics to trainee anaesthetists will have been struck by the wide variations in the knowledge of basic physics possessed by our students. Some are remarkably well equipped, requiring only a rapid revision, whilst others must be taught the subject from very first principles. It is particularly to these latter that this book will appeal. To their teachers it is of great value in assisting them in presenting their subject in a form which is readily assimilable. The authors have set themselves a difficult task, for they have to present limited aspects of a subject which is virtually without limits. Their choice of what to include and what to exclude must inevitably be to some extent arbitrary, and the authors are to be congratulated on having produced what all will regard as a well-balanced work. The production of this book is of that high standard which we have come to expect from Messrs. Blackwell Scientific Publications Ltd., and it will prove invaluable to the practising anaesthetist, to the trainee and to teachers. We wish it well. G. Jackson Rees