Clinical Anesthesia Procedures of the Massachusetts General Hospital, 6th Edition. Senior Editor: William E. Hurford. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 2002. Pages: 786. Price: $39.95. ISBN: 0-7817-3718-4.
Stumbling through the darkness, I silence the piercing blare of the alarm clock. It is 4:45 am, but I've been awake for hours. Today is the first day of my CA-1 yr. After scampering off to work, preparing my room, and reviewing the first patient's history, the moment of judgment has come. It's time to talk with the staff. The anesthesiologists, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), student CRNAs, surgeons, surgical techs, scrub nurses, and janitors know more about anesthesiology than I do. I have tried to prepare for this day, but my mind is a blank slate. Do not fear! All is well! I have just spent the past 5 min with my copy of Clinical Anesthesia Procedures of the Massachusetts General Hospital , and I will be able to continue this masquerade as an anesthesia provider until my knowledge catches up with my responsibility.
The previous edition of Senior Editor William Hurford's book has rescued me on many occasions, for example, by contributing to the relative ease of my first popliteal fossa block. The topics presented in this book are well organized and concise, but detailed enough to be clinically useful in the trenches of the operating rooms. For example, chapter six provides almost two pages on carcinoid syndrome. From pathophysiology to preoperative management to anesthetic considerations, the authors provide a useful summary that is ideal for the clinician who is venturing down paths not frequently traveled. This book is not an exhaustive reference for the omniscient; rather, it is a conveniently packaged, quick reference for both those in training and those in practice. In addition to anesthetic considerations for various different diseases, the book supplies numerous convenient tables ranging from congenital cardiac lesions to opioid pharmacology. These tables help to retrieve knowledge that we all know as anesthesia providers but which may have drifted to the back of one's mind.
Many trainees have benefited from previous editions of this book. The sixth edition offers many new and updated chapters. The anesthesia-related drug index located in the back of the book has been expanded and continues to be a valuable resource. The chapter on adult, pediatric, and newborn resuscitation has been rewritten based on the Guidelines 2000 for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care . Chapters describing anesthesia for bariatric surgery, transplantation, and ambulatory anesthesia are but just a few of the other changes in this edition. One particularly interesting and unique chapter focuses on complementary and alternative medicine, including a nice list of often-used herbs and their anesthetic implications. Imagine what your staff would say if you told them that the tumeric root your patient is taking causes a free water diuresis. You'll be a star!
I, like the majority of my colleagues, have embraced the computer age and purchased a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). From pharmacopeias to regional texts, the array of information available for downloading seems to be endless. But whenever I want to know ED95of cis-atracurium or the Crawford classification for descending thoracic aortic aneurysms, or I want a quick review of a topic such as pediatric anesthesia, I still turn to Clinical Anesthesia Procedures of the Massachusetts General Hospital . This book is not intended to be a complete reference. But from machine checkout to conduct of bypass, it provides a conveniently packed resource that both literally and figuratively belongs in the back pockets and carts of trainees and practicing clinicians alike.