By: 8 January 2016
The STH-KTH Nexus Handbook of Acronyms and Mnemonics

The STH-KTH Nexus Handbook of Acronyms and Mnemonics

Authors: Sher Mohammed & Naghmana Iftikhar

Book review by Andrew Skinner, Clinical fellow, William Harvey Hospital, Ashford

As physicians, we are required to memorise a vast amount of knowledge and information for both clinical practice and postgraduate exams. Therefore techniques to aid this process, such as using mnemonics and acronyms, can be extremely helpful.

This handbook contains 110 mnemonics or acronyms, which are split into five different sections, encompassing both clinical practice and basic sciences. There are anaesthetic techniques and peri-operative care, pharmacology in critical care and acute medicine, critical care topics, surgery and obstetrics, and syndromes and diseases.

Each mnemonic or acronym begins with a clear title and a brief description introducing the topic. By no means is each section exhaustive and the relaxed style of writing makes this handbook fun to read and easily digestible. I particularly enjoyed the mnemonic for minimising blood loss during surgery: SAVETH-RBC!

Even if the reader is not able to find a particular mnemonic, the handbook will hopefully provide them with the ability to create their own. The preface suggests that the booklet is useful for non-anaesthetists; however, there is a strong emphasis on anaesthetic-related practice. In particular, the handbook would be helpful for anaesthetic trainees studying for either their primary or final FRCA.

In summary, this is a rather unique study aid among the anaesthetic, intensive care and acute medicine literature that is helpful for clinical practice, but in particular for those studying for exams.