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482 | Book reviews

Complications and Mishaps in Anesthesia, M. Hubler, T. Koch and K. B. Domino (editors), 1st edn,
2014. Published by Springer. Pp. 365. Price: 53.99. ISBN: 978-3-642-45406-6.

My rst impression looking at the futuristic green and blue design The most interesting parts for me were the discussion of
on the cover, was that this was going to be a very technical dissec- human factors that lead to mishap and the psychological meth-
tion of error, much in the style of other human factors and avi- ods available to counteract them. Techniques such as practicing
ation error books. What unfolds however, is slightly different. a step back during a non-stressful event in order to use it in a
The book opens with biographies of the ctional characters stressful situation I found thought provoking. The nal chapter
found in the clinical vignettes that follow, a little like the opening draws the book together nicely with tips to avoid human error
notes for a play. Each chapter leads then with a clinical vignette, and is arguably the best chapter.
some form of critical incident, a discussion of clinical issues and The authors are right to say that this is a new concept for a
a dissection of the causes of the mishap. textbook. Sometimes interesting with historical nuggets like
Woven into each chapter is a ctional back story to set the the origin of the Armitage formula and lack of evidence for it,
scene. I was conicted about this element to the book. Sometimes sometimes stimulating with application of psychological techni-
it was insightful and engaging with characters revealing internal ques to combat error and occasionally entertaining with some
monologues, at other times I felt that the stories did not ring true larger than life characters in the clinical vignettes.
or were distracting (e.g. former lovers making eye contact across a Where does this book t in? This is not the book for the

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busy theatre). Later on, some of the stories are told from the per- exam candidate in search of fast facts. For the Novice wanting a
spective of the patient and that does add an unusual twist the readable overview of anaesthetic mishap or indeed for the ex-
story of the accidental awareness under anaesthesia being of note. perienced clinician wanting CPD and a reside read, this book
The style is more oriented towards the USA with phrases such has a place.
as billing procedures requiring the presence of an attending
having little meaning in the present NHS. Other elements such
as relatives being able to give informed consent if an adult lacked M. F. Dowling
capacity would not hold true in the UK. Nottingham, UK


Stoeltings Pharmacology and Physiology in Anesthetic Practice. P. Flood, J. P. Rathmell and S. Shafer
(editors), 5th edn, 2015. Published by Wolters Kluwer. Pp. 900. Price 101.70, $169.99. ISBN-13:

The 1st edition of this classic textbook appeared in 1986 and the are many useful tables and gures throughout then text. Each
4th edition was published in 2006. This 5th edition has a change chapter nishes with a comprehensive reference list, up to 300
in authorship and style but retains much of the original charac- references in some cases, which comprise both older classic
ter. The book is edited by three distinguished USA anaesthetists references and recent research papers.
who have overseen the revision and collated contributions from a The textbook includes an interactive ebook which allows
total of around 30 authors. This process has taken nearly seven yr download of content, a search tool, cross-linking of text and
and the text has been completely revised. The authors have reference tabbing.
made a good job of maintaining a uniform style throughout When reviewing a text book, I nd it useful to select a number
the text. of random topics covering a range of material and read through
The book is organized into nine sections; Basic principles, them. All of the items I examined were dealt with clearly and
Neurologic system, Circulatory system, Pulmonary system, comprehensively.
Blood and Hemostasis, Gastrointestinal and metabolism, Endo- I have a few minor criticisms. I feel that each chapter would
crine system, Miscellaneous (antibiotics, chemotherapy, psycho- have benetted from an opening table of contents/ subjects to
pharmacology) and special populations (Newborn, maternal/ be covered in the subsequent text. The indexing system has a
fetal, elderly and resuscitation). separate drug listing and subject listing. Thus, if you are looking
Each section deals with both the physiology and the pharma- for information on a drug, say etomidate or dexamethasone,
cology. For example, the Circulatory system has 10 chapters of these do not appear in the subject index but in the drug listing,
which four are physiology (circulatory, cardiac, renal and uids where they have a list of page numbers but no indication of the
and electrolytes) and six are on pharmacology (Sympathomi- context.
metics, sympatholytics, vasodilators, antiarrhythmics, diuretics Overall, I found this to be a useful and comprehensive text
and lipid lowering drugs). Each chapter is 2040 pages long and book which provides very detailed information in a very readable
presents a logical structured approach to the subject. There form. The previous editions of this textbook have become well
Book reviews | 483

established favourites and I see no reason why this edition will C. Reilly
not continue this sequence. I recommend this as a useful and Shefeld, UK
comprehensive textbook for those preparing for postgraduate ex- E-mail:
aminations and also as a clinical and teaching resource.


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