Oxford Specialist Handbooks in Anaesthesia: Anaesthesia for Emergency Care J. Nolan & J. Soar (eds) Oxford University Press, 2012 ISBN 7980199588978, 400 pp. Price £34.99


This is the first edition on the subject of anaesthesia for emergency care in the popular series of Oxford specialist handbooks in anaesthesia. Although aimed principally at the anaesthetic trainee, this book would also be of value to consultants in anaesthesia and critical care and to trainees and consultants in emergency medicine.

The book is divided into 16 chapters, the first four of which cover general principles, pre-hospital care, the injured patient and anaesthesia for the critically ill. These give a good overview of the issues when dealing with a critically unwell or injured patient. The bullet-point format makes it easy to find key principles. The information is up to date and deals with many of the controversies in emergency anaesthesia, e.g. modifications to rapid sequence induction, new management priorities such as control of catastrophic haemorrhage before the ABC approach and giving higher doses of clotting products to manage the coagulopathy of massive haemorrhage.

The rest of the book deals with most of the surgical emergencies likely to be encountered by anaesthetic trainees during their general training, including some with which trainees are likely to be less familiar. The chapter on anaesthesia for emergency radiological procedures, increasingly encountered by the on-call anaesthetist, covers CT, MRI and endovascular stenting well. The final chapter of the book deals with anaesthetic emergencies, and would be a useful guide for trainees at the start of training.

As with the rest of the Oxford specialist handbooks, this book is an invaluable resource for anaesthetists in training. Although not a substitute for a more comprehensive textbook, it is a useful reference to have. The information included is easy to find and the bullet-point format ensures ease of use. The compact nature of the book makes it well suited to the trainee anaesthetist's pocket.