Book Review

Oxford Textbook of Obstetric Anaesthesia

Edited by: Vicki Clark, Marc Van de Velde, and Roshan Fernando

Samina Ismail

Professor of Anesthesiology, Aga Khan University, Karachi (Pakistan); E-mail:

Obstetric anesthesia is now a recognized subspecialty of anesthesia, devoted to improve maternal health care by providing safe anesthesia and analgesia to parturient around the world. This book is the culmination of the efforts of obstetric anesthesiologists which is reflecting their professional knowledge and expertise in the field of obstetric anesthesia.

This book is written in ten parts with total of fifty five chapters. Part one begins with the history of obstetric anesthesia beginning from 1st inhalation analgesia by James Simpson in 1847 with its gradual evolution into a specialty and progress to present day modern and safe obstetric practice. The subsequent chapters have very comprehensively described the maternal and fetal physiological changes and pharmacokinetics in pregnancy. One special feature of this book is covering topics like fetal and neonatal assessment and infertility treatment which is normally not covered under the domain of anesthesia.

The part five of this book is dedicated to obstetric management of labor and labor analgesia and is comprised of eight chapters. This part covers all aspects of patients’ care requiring analgesia during labor. It has comprehensively covered different analgesic modalities for labor analgesia and how to maintain analgesia throughout the labor period and how to prevent and manage breakthrough pains.

In the part six which is comprised of anesthesia for cesarean delivery, the authors have not only elaborated on different techniques of anesthesia for cesarean delivery but also have shown different management strategies of managing postoperative pain and persistent pain after cesarean delivery and vaginal birth. Authors have comprehensively elaborated on obstetric complication in part eight and have included high dependency and intensive care management in obstetric population. The section on systemic diseases in pregnancy has covered all the common diseases encountered in pregnant patients.

The book ends with the portion of recent advances which covers topics like genetics, simulation, ultrasound and international outreach programs which is the need of the day and should have information for those practicing obstetric anesthesia.

This book will certainly make a significant contribution in the provision of safe anesthesia for obstetric patients. Although this book is lengthy and few chapters could have been concise to make this book more reader friendly but overall it is a well written book. I congratulate the contributors for their efforts in bringing the practice of obstetric anesthesia to a higher level.

Publisher: Oxford University Press, University of Oxford. United Kingdom

Oxford Textbook of Obstetric Anaesthesia