By: 18 June 2013
Tracheotomy Management – A Multidisciplinary Approach

This issue’s review was kindly written by Karim Rizkallah MB BCh, MRCS (Eng.), FRCA (Eng.) ST5 Anaesthetics, William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, Kent, UK.

I was given this book by my consultant to look at, as it might benefit my anaesthetic training. No doubt I was very impressed by the presence of such an updated source written by specialists from all different disciplines involved in tracheotomy. The 36 contributors range in occupation from senior anaesthetists, otolaryngology surgeons, and anatomy lecturers, to physiotherapists and paediatricians. The book is presented in 14 chapters preceded by a detailed historical introduction. Each chapter is written by more than one author from different subspecialties.

This is not the first attempt to write a book about such a multidisciplinary service. I found a previous example of a multi-professional approach to tracheotomy care. However, this book goes more in depth in all aspects written due to the level of experience of the contributing authors.

The book goes into anatomical details, such as congenital anomalies and anatomical variations, and various types of tracheotomies including elective, percutaneous and emergency. Paediatric tracheotomies and caring for patients in the critical care environment with tracheotomies were also discussed over various chapters.
The layout of the book is intriguing. Each chapter starts with a problem-solving case scenario, followed by an introduction, the core, and then a conclusion, occasionally explaining the best practice for the case discussed. This method, in my experience, has helped establish the link between the written lines in a book with the real life scenarios faced by most of us.

According to the publisher, the book has 50 coloured illustrations and 100 black-and-white. The edition I had in hand (a UK printed edition) had all pictures in black and white. The quality was poor more often than not, with shadowing from the camera flash over the incision demonstrated. Additionally, the absence of bullet points under each title made it more difficult to focus at times.

I think the book is overpriced at £48. However, if you see it as a publication of textbook quality, to use as reference about a sub-specialised area, then the price might seem reasonable. The book could definitely benefit from higher quality illustrations that correspond better to the high level of the knowledge provided.