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Edited by Drew Provan. (Pp 88; £17.95.) BMJ Books, 2002. ISBN 0-7279-1676-9.
Clinical haematology is a subject which impacts directly across the entire spectrum of clinical medicine and has implications for all medical and allied professions. Consequently it is important that there is an introductory text, which can encapsulate both the basics and recent advances in an easily digestible format. Such a text should be concise, to the point, and easy to read. To a large extent ABC of Clinical Haematology succeeds in all these areas, and can be recommended as an introductory text suitable for most practitioners. Drew Provan has assembled a range of senior haematologists who have contributed to an update of the original text. The book is well laid out taking advantage of good illustration, tables and figures making the contents easy to assimilate. The chapters cover all relevant areas of clinical haematology including anaemias, acute and chronic leukaemias, the lymphomas, and coagulation abnormalities. The chapter on haematological emergencies will be particularly useful for generalists and the chapter on the future of haematology introduces general conceptual advances coming into the clinical arena.
The layout of the book is good and the level of information presented is adequate for the introductory text it sets out to be. It is, however, far from comprehensive and more in-depth information will need to be obtained from other sources. The list of references at the end of each section provides a ready starting point for this process. Most of the chapters are consistent with current practices and describe the clinical approach to the investigation and management of these conditions. Rather disappointingly the chapter on Hodgkin’s disease and the lymphomas has not really been updated to take into account the concepts implicit in the REAL and WHO classifications, which are now in widespread use. Despite this criticism this is a useful text, which provides an excellent introduction to the subject and will be widely useful for all professions involved with patient care.
The reviewers have been asked to rate these books in terms of four items: readability, how up to date they are, accuracy and reliability, and value for money, using simple four point scales. From their opinions we have derived an overall “star” rating: * = poor, ** = reasonable, *** = good, **** = excellent.
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