Basics of Anesthesia, Seventh Edition

Manuel C. Pardo Jr, Ronald D. Miller. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2018; price: $125 (hardcover); number of pages: 936. ISBN: 978-0-323-40115-9
  • Janny Xue Chen KeEmail author
Book and New Media Reviews

Whether one is seeking an introductory textbook, a quick review, or a teaching resource, the Basics of Anesthesia by Pardo and Miller provides a concise, practical overview of anesthesiology. Now in its seventh edition, this classic textbook has been updated and includes an expanded list of American and international contributors who review key topics relevant to contemporary practice.

Totalling 51 chapters, this edition retains its previous structure of six sections. A shortened introductory section includes valuable discussion concerning the changing scope of anesthesia practice, teaching and learning anesthesia, and electronic information systems. This section is followed by others that cover “Pharmacology and physiology,” “Preoperative preparation and intraoperative management,” “Special anesthetic considerations,” “The recovery period”, and “Consultant anesthetic practice.” This layout is similar to that of other textbooks of this type.

Major updates for the seventh edition include several new chapters that reflect the changing focus of anesthesiology practice and research. The chapter “Anesthetic neurotoxicity” summarizes the conflicting clinical research findings in pediatric and elderly patients. Although the evidence remains inconclusive, this chapter provides a helpful commentary on the strengths and limitations of various studies. “Anesthesia for trauma” draws from contemporary research to discuss topics such as airway management and Damage Control Resuscitation, with consideration for special scenarios such as brain and spinal cord injury, burns, and pediatric trauma. Discussions of non-technical skills such as leadership, team management, and communication are integrated into the text throughout this section, and should prove especially helpful to anesthesia trainees. Another new chapter is the highly topical “Natural and human-induced disasters,” which outlines the preparation and response to a variety of disasters with relevance to anesthesia care and leadership. The “Palliative care” chapter provides a useful introduction to pain management, perioperative considerations, and management of patients requiring palliative care, as well as ethical, legal, and communication concerns. “Sleep medicine” focuses on the perioperative management of obstructive sleep apnea.

The textbook ends with a new chapter called, “New models of anesthesia care: perioperative medicine, the perioperative surgical home, and population health.” It provides a glimpse into the evolving scope of anesthesiology as it relates to changing patient demographics, health care systems, and the workforce involved. With the increasing emphasis on perioperative care in anesthesiology, this chapter aptly expands on interdisciplinary innovations, such as enhanced recovery programs, and the “perioperative surgical home” model. An initiative of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the perioperative surgical home model facilitates patient-centred, multidisciplinary care. Over the next few years, there may be more reports on whether this model improves outcomes and patient satisfaction while reducing costs. Regardless, enhancing multidisciplinary perioperative care would be useful in the Canadian context.

Overall, the textbook is visually appealing, and it effectively reviews a wide range of topics. The chapters are clearly divided into discrete, digestible subjects. Evidence is frequently cited and critically assessed. Throughout each chapter, graphics help to convey key concepts. For example, diagrams, case studies, and calculations explain complex concepts in an approachable manner in the chapter “Acid-base balance and blood gas analysis.” Each chapter ends with a summary and questions that aim to reinforce the concepts presented. The free eBook that comes with the hardcover purchase can be accessed via the “Expert Consult” website ( and the Inkling mobile application, which is a searchable, portable reference on mobile devices.

Suggested topics for consideration in future editions include critical literature appraisal, obesity, effect of anesthetic agents on climate change, and point-of-care ultrasonography. In terms of improving the format, summarizing key concepts in bullet points at the beginning of the chapter could help anchor the reader to what is to be reviewed. The electronic version could be further leveraged for interactivity, such as self-testing and instruction videos.

In summary, the seventh edition of Basics of Anesthesia succinctly captures the essentials and creates a framework on which the learner can build by referring to more in-depth textbooks and journals. Contemporary issues and topics are well represented in this new edition and stimulate the reader to imagine the opportunities and challenges in the evolving field of anesthesiology.


Conflict of interest

None declared.

Editorial responsibility

This submission was handled by Dr. Steven Backman, Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia.

Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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