Editors: Charles E. Smith, MD and Jon J. Como, MD
Cambridge University Press – 744 pages
Book Review by: Sonu Chandiram

“Trauma represents a broad spectrum of disease and is the leading cause of death and disability among the youth,” according to Brendan Peterson, MD, MBA, who is professor of orthopedic surgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and who wrote the Foreword to this book.

Worldwide, unintentional and intentional injuries were the fifth and seventh cause of deaths in 2002. There are many causes of major trauma. Collisions in vehicles, falls, blunt wounds from being hit with various objects, penetrating wounds from gunshots and stabbing, and much more.

In the United States, there were 29.2 million visits to hospitals for unintentional injuries in 2016 (the latest year for which we found adequate statistics) according to the Centers for Disease Control, and there were 169,936 deaths from unintentional injuries. Add to this the 36,338 deaths from unintentional falls, 40,231 from motor vehicle accidents, and 64,795 from unintentional poisoning, and we had 311,300 trauma-related deaths in the U.S. in 2016.

With knowledge about the many aspects of trauma resulting from all types of unintentional events – injuries, falls, traffic accidents, and poisoning – we will be better able to save lives. That is one of the purposes of this book: to provide you – the medical student, resident, or practicing physician dealing with trauma cases – with the knowledge to enable you to prevent deaths of those people brought to the hospital.

Eighty specialists in trauma management from all over the United States and six other countries – Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom – authored the 43 chapters of this extensive volume on anesthesia in trauma-related procedures.

We name the chapters below in order to provide you an overview of the contents of this large and important book on life-and-death situations:

  1. Section I – Initial management of the trauma patient
  2. Mechanisms and demographics
  3. Trauma in the pre-hospital environment
  4. Trauma airway management
  5. Shock management
  6. Establishing vascular access in the trauma patient
  7. Massive blood transfusion in trauma care
  8. Blood loss: does it change my intravenous anesthetic?
  9. Fluid and blood therapy in trauma
  10. Section II – Techniques for monitoring, imaging, and pain relief
  11. Monitoring the trauma patient
  12. Use of echocardiography and ultrasound in trauma
  13. Imaging in trauma
  14. Ultrasound procedures in trauma
  15. Pharmacology of neuromuscular blocking agents and their reversal in trauma patients
  16. Hypothermia in trauma
  17. Pharmacologic management of acute pain in trauma
  18. Regional anesthesia
  19. Post-trauma chronic pain
  20. Damage control in severe trauma
  21. Mechanical ventilation of the patient following traumatic injury
  22. Section III – Anesthetic considerations
  23. Head trauma: surgical issues
  24. Head trauma: anesthetic considerations and management
  25. Surgical considerations for spinal cord trauma
  26. Anesthesia for spinal cord trauma
  27. Oral and maxillofacial trauma: surgical considerations
  28. Anesthesia for oral and maxillofacial trauma
  29. Eye trauma and anesthesia
  30. Musculoskeletal trauma
  31. Anesthesia considerations for musculoskeletal trauma
  32. Cardiac and great vessel trauma
  33. Anesthesia considerations for cardiothoracic trauma
  34. Abdominal trauma: surgical considerations
  35. Anesthetic considerations for abdominal trauma
  36. Intra-operative one-lung ventilation for trauma anesthesia
  37. Section IV – Special populations
  38. Pediatric trauma and anesthesia
  39. Intensive care unit management of pediatric brain injury
  40. Trauma in the elderly
  41. Trauma in pregnancy
  42. Field anesthesia and military injury
  43. Burn injuries: critical care in severe brain injury
  44. Anesthesia for burns
  45. Section V – Organization of trauma management
  46. Prevention of injuries
  47. Trauma systems, triage, and transfers
  48. Trauma team training and simulation: creating safer outcomes

“Trauma claims more lost quality life years than cancer and cardiovascular disease and sadly often robs a society of its youth. However, each and every day through the thoughtful and dedicated effort of many skilled trauma care providers working in complex systems we have successfully mitigated the impact of injury on countless numbers of the seriously injured,” Dr. Peterson points out in his Foreword.

With the educated, experienced, skilled, and well-trained providers of medical care and surgical services, lives are saved, limbs are preserved, and functions are restored.

The editors – Dr. Charles Smith and Dr. John Como – inform us that this second edition released in 2015 has been improved with updated knowledge that developed over the years after the first edition was released in 2008. This second edition has also been expanded with the addition of six new chapters, and all of its content has been reorganized into five sections.

In sum, this large volume provides extensive information on all aspects of trauma care and a large range of traumatic injuries, with particularly emphasis on trauma anesthesiology.



Charles E. Smith, MD is Professor of Anesthesia at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and Director of Cardiothoracic and Trauma Anesthesia at Metrohealh Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.


Associate Editor:

Jon J. Como, MD, MPH, FACS is Associate Professor of Surgery at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and Associate Trauma Director at Metrohealh Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.