Title: Kidney Disease From Advanced Disease to Bereavement, second edition
Authors: Edwina Brown, Fliss Murtagh, Emma Murphy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Reviewer: Jane Brown, patient safety advisor, Worcester Acute NHS Trust
What was it like?
This is one of a series of specialist handbooks from Oxford University. This book is an excellent handbook on a complex group of patients. It gives guidance to renal and palliative specialists who care for patients with advanced kidney disease. In the end stages of the disease this would be a good tool to utilise alongside the Liverpool Care Pathway.
What were the highlights?
As this is pocket sized it is a must for nephrologists, renal nurses, student nurses and doctors and palliative care staff. It is impressive that this is written by a consultant nephrologist, a clinical nephrologist, with a special interest in patient outcomes and in particular the elderly on dialysis, and a GP with a doctorate and interests in palliative and end of life care needs of renal patients. This has been revised and updated.
The text is in bullet points making the salient points easy to identify so a practitioner can find the exact details they need.
There are good case histories and advises on the use of effective communication with the patient and their family.
Strengths & weaknesses:
It gives the appropriate doses of medication, which can be difficult in patients with renal failure and includes the WHO Analgesic ladder.
It also advises the practitioner on recognising when someone is dying and there is good advice on preparing a patient for a good death.
The only weakness is the font size, but to enable this to be pocket sized, it is understandable. The chapter contain up to date references for further reading and the book is easy to pick up and find what you are looking for in well-written language.
Who should read it?
This would include nephrologists, renal nurses, student nurses and doctors and palliative care staff. It would also be invaluable to the physician where a patient may not have yet been diagnosed with this disease and at any stage.