Geriatric Anesthesia: Principles and Practice. Stephen CR and Assaf RAE. Boston, Butterworth Publishers, 1986, 376 pages, $44.95, hardcover.
On occasion, an excellent reference text comes to my attention. Geriatric Anesthesia: Principles and Practice fits into this category.
Chapter format combines narrative text with many well-laid-out graphs and tables. Physiological changes of normal aging and diseases relating to the aging process are comprehensively reviewed. From this base, subjects covering pharmacokinetics, effects of anesthesia on normal and diseased cardiovascular systems, uses of regional anesthesia in the elderly, and special requirements for monitoring fluid therapy in the elderly are presented. A word of caution is included at this point. Although each chapter is heavily referenced with many recent bibliographical citations, not infrequently, a citation is ten or more years old. These older citations are appropriate if presenting a historical perspective. However, at times, information is presented as current fact though the cited reference may be considered by some to be out of date.
The heavy physiological basis for subjects reviewed makes this text most valuable to advanced clinicians involved with the preoperative, operative, or postoperative care of an elderly client. However, information relating to pharmacokinetics, normal age changes, fluid therapy, and regional anesthesia is certainly relevant to those clinicians practicing in a long-term care setting. Others in gerontology may find the chapter on preoperative evaluation of the geriatric client to be of interest. Those clinicians interested in pharmacology and the elderly would also find this text to be of value.