Rossi’s Principles of Transfusion Medicine
5th edition. 733 pages, tables, illustrations. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. Price GPB 218
Twenty-five years after the first edition, the fifth edition of one of the major textbooks of transfusion medicine has now been published.
Altogether four of the five editors and 80 of 126 authors are American. One of the editors is Norwegian, and among the authors are four Norwegian colleagues.
The book begins with a detailed, mainly technology-oriented chapter on the history of transfusion medicine and current megatrends. This is followed by sections on blood donation, blood components and derivatives, apheresis, transplantation, new therapeutic methods, specialist clinical practice and adverse effects.
Transfusion in patient treatment constitutes the focus of the book. The section on blood donation starts with the chapter «Patient Blood Management». This concept is based on utilising the patient’s blood resources and evidence-based transfusion. Other factors related to blood donation are well covered, but the issue of paid versus unpaid blood donors is brushed aside in a couple of sentences.
The section on blood components and derivatives also deals with diagnostics and ordinary clinical transfusion. Some readers might well have preferred these subjects to be covered in separate sections.
The book’s greatest strength is its section on apheresis, transplantation and new therapeutic methods, which introduces the reader to a number of areas at the frontier of medicine.
The section on specialist clinical practice begins with a well-written chapter on obstetric transfusion, which also describes immune-mediated thrombocytopenia in fetuses and newborns. In the otherwise useful chapter on haemolytic disease in fetuses and newborns, Rh negative prophylaxis and prenatal serological monitoring of Rh isoimmunised pregnant women is cursorily dealt with. All mother-child immunisations should be collected in one chapter, also describing prophylaxis and monitoring. The chapter on transfusion in trauma cases has been updated, but contains few illustrations.
The chapter on immunoglobulins deals with the most powerful driving force in contemporary transfusion medicine. Their use is often based on weak evidence, but the chapter does not address this to any great extent.
The text is set in a rather small typeface and most of the references need to be retrieved from the internet. This saves space, but makes the book cumbersome to read and to use as a source of reference. Many of the chapters would have benefited from fewer words and more illustrations.
This book is more a supplement to Mollison’s evergreen Blood Transfusion in Clinical Medicine than a competitor. It is still slanted towards the USA, but also has much to offer practitioners in transfusion medicine and clinicians with an interest in transfusion medicine in other countries.