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Nutritional Support for Adults and Children
  1. S Gabe

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Edited by T Bowling. Oxford: Radcliffe Medical Press, 2004, £24.95, pp 181. ISBN 1 85775 831 5

On behalf of BAPEN (British Association of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition), Tim Bowling has managed to bring together three doctors (one physician, one paediatrician, and one surgeon), two nurse specialists, two pharmacists, as well as four dietitians as joint authors of this book. This is far from easy, especially as the authors have not simply contributed by writing a chapter each but by contributing throughout the book.

The book is laid out in two principle sections: adult and paediatric nutrition support with the same headings repeated in each section. This makes it easy to follow and there is a lot of information in this book that is very simply and clearly presented. Tables are clear and useful, and practical guidance is given—for example, nasogastric tube placement, issues around bowel sounds and feeding, and practical aspects of administering parenteral nutrition and dealing with line sepsis.

My only criticism is the number of forwards to the book. There are a record five forwards, which seems a little excessive but does not detract from the book. Overall this is a practical hands-on book. It is clear and informative without being too large or weighty. It is well referenced for further reading. I can see nurses, dietitians, and pharmacists carrying this book around with them and hope also to see a copy on each ward. What about doctors? Well, it certainly should be essential reading for every junior doctor.