By: 29 October 2013
Essentials of Anaesthetic Equipment (4th Edition)

This issue’s review was kindly written by Dr Dina Hadi, CT1 anaesthetics, William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, Kent.

The long-awaited fourth edition of this popular book has now finally arrived. As anticipated, the book is fully updated to keep up with the rapidly evolving technology of anaesthetic equipment and intensive care. As stated in the title, the book is one of the essential readings for the anaesthetic trainees, as well as their trainers and the operation department practitioners. In addition to the MCQs at the end of each chapter, SBAs are now included which is particularly useful for readers attempting the FRCA examination.

The book still has the same 14 chapters, as in the third edition, but now the latest AAGBI safety checklist and recommendation has been included to the existing six appendices. Each chapter consists of brief descriptive text with summary boxes containing key points and the book is now much better illustrated with new full-colour figures and photographs that are fully updated as compared to the previous edition.

There is new equipment added such as video laryngoscope (Glidescope) in the chapter entitled ‘Laryngoscope and tracheal intubation equipment’, entropy of the EEG in the ‘Non-invasive monitoring’ chapter and a further detailed illustration of ultrasound machines with added description of common modes and probes used in our daily practice. In addition, the mistakes of the previous edition were corrected, for example the moister output unit of the HMEs and Hagen-Poiseuille equation.

An updated further reading list containing more recent references has been added to the end of each chapter. Furthermore, a few lines are now mentioned in this new edition but still lacking some details on mode of action and no comparison was made to PiCCO, for example. Regarding the modes of ventilation, I would find it more useful if the graphs were also included as it will provide better understanding for the readers.

In summary, this is one of the best equipment books on the market, and it’s well tailored to suit anaesthetic trainees preparing for the FRCA exams and trainers alike. The authors offered a simple and concise style to make it easy and enjoyable to read, yet provides the most valuable and relevant information to our daily practice.  ■