Pub Date: 10 October 2018
Reviewed by: Anthony Shanks, MD (Indiana University School of Medicine)
Now in its eighth edition, this remains the premier textbook on complex obstetric care. The fetal imaging section has been expanded in this edition, with an extensive library of interactive videos available in the online version. It also adds four new chapters on current issues in obstetrics, including obesity and molecular genetics. The authors do an excellent job of combining basic science and clinical research in each chapter to create evidence-based reviews covering the most important topics in maternal and fetal care.
The purpose is to provide a definitive resource for maternal-fetal medicine physicians. The book serves as a guide with physiology for fetal and maternal conditions associated with increased risk during pregnancy. These are worthwhile objectives and the book and accompanying website successfully achieve them.
The audience is maternal-fetal medicine physicians, fellows, and interested residents. The authors represent the best academic institutions, and all are experts on the subject.
As a complement to basic science and clinical care content, the book incorporates information on practical aspects of modern medical care as well.Chapter 55, “Anemia and Pregnancy” is a particularly strong example of how the authors combine basic science reviews with specific recommendations for patient care. This chapter successfully moves from basic definitions to diagnosis and treatment of even rare causes of anemia in pregnancy. The tables in this chapter organize classifications, tests, and diagnoses into algorithms that can be easily referenced. Although the authors acknowledge the inability to exhaustively cover all potential causes of anemia, they provide in-depth reviews of many, ranging from iron deficiency to thalassemias and other inherited disorders. The section on management of patients with sickle cell disease (SCD) in pregnancy is especially useful and it reviews the pathophysiology of SCD as well as up-to-date research on the subject. Chapter 49, “Patient Safety and Quality Improvement in Obstetrics,” provides a good overview of the history of the patient safety movement both in medicine generally and in obstetrics. It seems that no discussion of patient safety can occur without mentioning “To Err is Human” and the aviation industry, and this chapter is no exception. However, the authors then move on to discuss strategies that have been successful in improving patient safety in obstetrics.Although the book reviews many potential tools and outcome measures in general, it lacks specific examples. More practical information would have been helpful to illustrate the process from conception of a quality improvement intervention to implementation and monitoring. Nonetheless, the inclusion of a chapter on safety and quality improvement illustrates its importance as a core priority in obstetric practice. The glossary of terms is particularly helpful.
This is the “must own” book for maternal-fetal medicine physicians, fellows, and residents caring for complicated obstetrical patients. It is considered a core obstetrics book, along with Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies, 7th edition, Gabbe et al. (Elsevier, 2017), and Williams Obstetrics, 25th edition, Cunningham et al.(McGraw-Hill, 2018), and others.
Doody’s Review Service Weighted Numerical Score: 93-4 Stars!