Lecture Notes: Clinical Anaesthesia, 3rd Edition. Edited by Carl L. Gwinnutt, M.B., M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., F.R.C.A. Oxford, England, Wiley-Blackwell, 2008. Pages: 172. Price: $36.95.
Medical students are challenged by the limited number of textbooks that provide quick and practical introductions to anesthesiology. Lecture Notes: Clinical Anesthesia introduces medical students, nurses and nurse anesthetists, and nonanesthesiologist general practitioners to the current practices of clinical anesthesiology. The textbook is also a useful tool to instructor anesthesiologists searching for a core text to recommend to their rotating medical students.
In addition to concepts in general anesthesia administration and management, Lecture Notes: Clinical Anesthesia provides a fair content of pain management principles and peripheral nerve blocks. In its six chapters, the book places emphasis on the role of anesthesiologists as perioperative physicians, not just operating room anesthesia providers. Three chapters of the book concentrate on perioperative medicine: chapter one, Anesthesia Assessment and Preparation for Surgery; chapter five, Recognition and Management of the Acutely Ill Patient on the Ward; and chapter six, Management of the Critically Ill Patient.
Although Lecture Notes: Clinical Anesthesia has been condensed in its third edition to 172 pages, it did not lose its standards of clear diagrams, photographs, and key facts boxes. These traits have to be some of the strongest features in earlier editions of this book. The photographs and diagrams assist learners, particularly visual learners, to comprehend key principles in anesthesiology such as applying mask ventilation, performing correct chest compression during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and inserting laryngeal mask airways. In addition, the book contains self-assessment questions at the end of each chapter that focus the students’ attention on the important concepts, with answers provided at the end of the book. In the reference section of each chapter, useful Web sites related to the chapter are provided as an excellent feature for modern learners who are very comfortable using technology and the internet for learning purposes.
Although Lecture Notes: Clinical Anesthesia contains a fair amount of pharmacology, it falls short of providing any significant content in physiology. In addition, other than a quick review on obstetric anesthesiology, the book does not provide any content regarding other subspecialties in anesthesiology such as pediatric or cardiothoracic anesthesiology.
In summary, Lecture Notes: Clinical Anesthesia offers a comprehensive review of general anesthesiology principles and practices in a quick and easy-to-read style. I recommend it as an excellent first-step for students and other medical professionals who are interested in the field of anesthesiology. The book provides principles of clinical anesthesiology in text, tables, and photographs, but students are encouraged to expand beyond this book for more in-depth knowledge of the medical specialty of anesthesiology.
*Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. firstname.lastname@example.org