1. Miller, Lisa A. JD, CNM

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Williams Manual of Obstetrics: Pregnancy Complications, by Kenneth J. Leveno, F. Gary Cunningham, James M. Alexander, Steven L. Bloom, Brian M. Casey, Jodi S. Dashe, Jeanne S. Sheffield, and Scott W. Roberts, 22nd ed. April 1, 2007; 598 pp; $39.95.


This pocket-sized text provides a wealth of quickly accessible and clinically useful information in a condensed format. Shortened to 94 chapters from the previous edition's 126, this 22nd edition focuses on complications arising from pregnancy or from preexisting medical conditions. The book is helpfully divided into 3 major sections: obstetrical complications due to pregnancy, medical and surgical complications during pregnancy, and complications in the fetus or newborn. Chapters range from as few as 3 to as many as 18 pages, with most averaging 9 pages, making for fairly quick reading and review, which is very helpful in either the office or inpatient setting.


Part I, dealing with pregnancy-related complications, begins with complications in early pregnancy, such as early pregnancy loss, prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders, and teratology, and then moves on to antepartal testing. Intrapartum topics include abnormalities of labor, surgical complications, and a variety of obstetric conditions including premature labor and preterm rupture of membranes, gestational hypertension and preeclampsia, and several chapters on multifetal pregnancy. Part II consists of 44 chapters on various medical & surgical complications, including cardiac, respiratory, vascular, renal, endocrine, and viral illnesses, to name a few. These chapters are probably the most helpful to busy clinicians, especially those dealing with the less frequently seen problems, as they provide a quick yet detailed review. In addition, all chapters are cross-referenced to corresponding chapters in the full text, Williams Obstetrics.


The last section, Part III, contains 6 chapters related to the neonate. Most clinicians would likely utilize alternate sources for information on neonatal resuscitation and complications such as isoimmunization and meconium aspiration, but the brief overviews provided in this section do provide helpful reference.


All chapters are concise and extremely well-organized, presenting key pieces of clinical information along with detailed and helpful illustrations. The detailed appendices include more than 35 diagnostic indices, extensive ultrasound reference tables, detailed information on radiation dosimetry, and an exceptionally helpful review of umbilical cord blood gas analysis. In summary, this tightly edited book provides clinicians with a portable review of the most common (as well as the more uncommon) pregnancy complications in a readable format that nurses, physicians, and midwives can turn to for quick reference in any clinical setting.


Lisa A. Miller, JD, CNM


President Perinatal Risk Management and Education Services Chicago, Illinois