Clinical Pediatric Anesthesia - A Case Based Handbook is the second edition of a pediatric anesthesia textbook whose structure is based on case-based discussions. It is an update of the first edition, which was originally published in 2012. All four editors are from the Texas Children’s Hospital at Baylor College of Medicine and most of the 50 contributors to this book are from the Texas Children’s Hospital or the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
The book is divided into 15 parts comprising 71 chapters that cover a wide range of topics on the management of pediatric patients in various clinical scenarios. Parts 1 and 2 cover topics on the challenges encountered during preoperative preparation and pediatric pharmacology. Parts 3 to 10 are organized by body organ systems. Topics relating to care of neonatal patients are the focus of Part 11. Part 12 addresses topics relating to regional anesthesia and pain, and Part 13 discusses the anesthetic implications of several relatively common pediatric syndromes. The challenges of pediatric care in the post-anesthesia care unit are reviewed in Part 14, and the 15th and final section covers some interesting ethical dilemmas encountered in pediatric anesthesia.
Each chapter is introduced with a realistic case scenario. The case is then followed by a discussion of the pertinent anesthetic considerations, including patient assessment and the advantages and disadvantages of the possible anesthesia techniques. For example, the chapter on upper respiratory infections (URIs) begins with a case of a two-year-old with an ongoing URI, reactive airway disease, and adenotonsillar hypertrophy presenting for elective adenotonsillectomy and placement of ear tubes. The case description is followed by a discussion of patient factors that predict perioperative respiratory events and evidence-based guidelines for minimizing anesthesia risks in these patients. These discussions are written in a question-and-answer format similar to that of an oral board examination. The chapters conclude with a summary of the key points and a list of supporting references that can serve as starting points for a more in-depth examination of the topic. The chapters are concise, ranging from five to ten pages in length. The scope of this textbook is comprehensive in that it covers the most commonly encountered scenarios in pediatric anesthesia as well as other, less common situations, such as when faced with a patient with pheochromocytoma, epidermolysis bullosa, or the need for an ex utero intrapartum treatment procedure.
The text is clearly written and concise, making it an easy, enjoyable read. This clinically focused book provides a practical and engaging approach to learning pediatric anesthesia. Particularly, the question-and-answer format is easy to follow and useful for board examination preparation. It provides up-to-date, evidence-based recommendations related to each clinical scenario. Several chapters also include useful clinical pearls and practical tips, such as dosing recommendations, suggested clinical algorithms, and informative charts comparing the advantages and disadvantages of anesthetic approaches and techniques. Although this case-based handbook is not intended to be a replacement for more comprehensive pediatric anesthesia textbooks, its smaller size does makes it a convenient adjunct that could easily be brought into the operating room as a quick reference guide or a useful source for case-based teaching discussions with trainees.
Although the material presented is sometimes too superficial for complex topics such as congenital heart disease, it provides a good starting point for further reading and discussion. That is, the information will need to be supplemented by a more comprehensive pediatric anesthesia textbook. Also, because of the contributions from multiple authors, there are a few overlaps in material in various chapters. Finally, the illustrations are in black and white and generally of relatively low resolution, a matter that could be addressed in future editions of the textbook. Higher-resolution, colored illustrations and photographs that are more visually appealing would help enhance learning.
In conclusion, I recommend Clinical Pediatric Anesthesia - A Case-Based Handbook, Second Edition for anesthesia trainees who are preparing for their board examinations and pediatric anesthesiologists looking to enhance their knowledge. It is also an excellent teaching tool for academic pediatric anesthesiologists to facilitate formal or informal discussions with trainees.
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This submission was handled by Dr. Hilary P. Grocott, Editor-in-Chief, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.
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Sun, N. Clinical Pediatric Anesthesia: A Case-Based Handbook, Second Edition. Can J Anesth/J Can Anesth 66, 623–624 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12630-019-01293-z