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Full time anaesthetist, part time word smith

Anaesthetist Dr Aidan O’Donnell in theatre at Waikato Hospital

Who would have thought that cramming for fellowship exams could a decade later lead to the title of editor? But for anaesthetist Aidan O’Donnell that is exactly what has happened.

“When the first edition of the Oxford Handbook of Anaesthesia was published in 2002, I bought it and read it over and over,” he said.

“Afterwards I contacted the editors to offer comments and suggestions which led to them asking me if I would like to not only proof-read the second edition but also write a chapter for the book.”

From there the relationship grew and O’Donnell was offered the position of Assistant Editor.

“So I’ve really been involved for over 10 years in the book. For the forthcoming (fourth) edition, my main job has been to tweak the manuscript to make it suitable for electronic platforms.”

O’Donnell proof-read all 1200 pages of the upcoming edition, which was written by a panel of expert anaesthetists.

The handbook provides an authoritative, concise guide to all aspects of the speciality while ensuring its contents are relevant, evidence-based and clinically focused.

The fourth edition has been fully revised to follow the latest guidelines, drugs, and procedures.

It now includes content on obesity surgery, colloids vs crystalloids, enhanced recovery and intraoperative fluid management, new anticoagulants, bispectral index updates and pulse contour analysis.

“It really is a complete guide to the speciality, which is probably why it is the bestselling handbook on anaesthesia,” said O’Donnell.


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