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Reviews of BLOOD


AMWA Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring 2000
Blood: Self-Teaching Hematology, Immunology, and Transfusion Therapy.
John F. Dailey, Arlington, Mass.: Medical Consulting Group, 1998. XI+ 564 pp. $54.00 (Paper) ISBN: 0-9631819-5-5

Blood admirably meets its goal of providing accurate, easy-to-understand, detailed information about every aspect of the production, structure, circulation, function, testing, and use of blood and its many components. The book is clearly organized and contains numerous features to enhance learning. The text is highly readable and a ready reference for students and professionals in life sciences and health care.

In the preface of Blood, the book's author states that he became "fascinated with the topic of blood," and "convinced that.... practical, understandable, and easily accessible information on blood would be welcome to a wide audience." I agree, and I believe that he has succeeded in producing a book on this topic that students and professionals in a variety of life sciences and health care fields will find to be highly readable and an excellent self-teaching and reference tool. The book's organization and layout are admirable, the author has written with authority and clarity, and there are several features to facilitate learning.

The main text of Blood is organized into 20 chapters, each with an introduction and divided-by up to three levels of sub headings-into nicely manageable "reading units" of one to a handful of paragraphs. After detailing "The Concept of Blood" (blood cell development, stem cells, molecules necessary for blood cell development, bone marrow, sites of blood cell development, and types of cells), Dailey describes the gross anatomy and physiology of the circulatory system. He then describes the structure and function of various cellular and subcellular components of the vasculatory and lymphatic systems, starting with "Red Blood Cells" (chapter 4) and "Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide Transport" (chapter 5). Chapter 6, "White Blood Cells," is followed by chapters on topics related to white blood function, including "Antigen, Antibody, and Complement" (chapter 7), "The Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecules" (chapter 8), and "The Immune System" (chapter 9).

The second half of the text is devoted to descriptions of "Plasma," "Platelets," and "Coagulation," followed by chapters describing blood groups and the various types of therapy involving blood: blood transfusions, component therapy, apheresis, autologous blood recovery, and bone marrow transplantation. There is then a large section describing every imaginable blood test, including how and what the test measures and the interpretation of results.

Organization of the text into small units contributes to a close-to-perfect page layout. There is at least one heading or subheading or figure on each page (although first-level subheadings would have stood out better in all capital letters rather than in the same style as the second-level subheadings in type a few points larger). White space is used generously and wisely, including extra-wide outer margins used for key terms, "notes," thumbnail line drawings, key words, very brief explanatory notes, and figure legends, or to fit larger figures on the page. The type style, size and leading are very attractive and easy on the eyes.

How accurate is the information in Blood? The author has extensive experience in using and teaching about perfusion equipment. In addition, a number of physicians and scientists, including staff members at the Massachusetts General Hospital and a director of the medical affairs for plasma operations at the American Red Cross, are acknowledged for their reviews and thoughtful comments and suggestions during development of the book. A clinical laboratory is credited for reviewing the blood tests described in the book. The four-page bibliography lists textbooks on pertinent topics by major publishers, almost all published later than 1990.

Dailey writes in a clear, readable style, mostly in short, direct sentences and the active voice. He makes good, although somewhat inconsistent, use of bulleted and numbered lists. Abbreviations abound in the fields of hematology and immunology, so it is no surprise to find several abbreviations on every page of Blood. Dailey usually redefines more esoteric terms when they are used in a new section, although I was frustrated at time spent flipping through the text to find the meaning of "FNHTR" (febrile nonhemolytic transfusion reaction), described in chapter 15, when reading about "Leukocyte-reduced Blood Components" in chapter 17. I would suggest that in the next edition, abbreviations be added to the glossary, which could be placed after the blood tests.

Blood is subtitled "Self-Teaching Hematology, Immunology, and Transfusion Therapy," and the book contains several features to facilitate learning. Use of the extra-wide outside margins is the most creative feature. The self-teaching mission of this text is further supported by the list of about 20 to 50 questions that follows the text of each chapter. The questions are clearly framed and answered in full paragraphs, cited by chapter and question number, in a separate section at the end of the main text.

Compared with other books I have recently reviewed, Blood is relatively expensive for a paperback black-and-white text, particularly because the binding won't hold up to the frequent use the book deserves. However, I would put this text at the top of the acquisition list for any library serving students in allied health sciences and make it essential reading for perfusionists, nurses, and others who care for patients with hematologic disorders.

Diana Mathis
AMWA Journal, Vol. 15, No. 2, Spring 2000


Journal of NEUROSURGICAL ANESTHESIOLOGY, October 1999, Vol. 4, No. 11
Book review by Mosses Bairamian, MD
Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York.

John F. Dailey, Arlington, Mass.: Medical Consulting Group, 1998. 564 pp. $54.00 (Paper) ISBN: 0-9631819-5-5

Blood, authored by John F. Dailey is packed with practical, clinically relevant information. Even though Dailey is neither a physician nor a hematologist, his background in the medical field, especially as a researcher and perfusionist, serves him well in producing this comprehensive text as a follow-up to his award-winning book Dailey's Notes on Blood. This book is sensibly organized. In just under 360 pages this text covers the basic concepts of hematology, immunology, and transfusion therapy. It consists of 20 chapters, each of which is well organized and begins with a brief introduction followed by accessible and easily understood material. What strikes the reader is the outline of the key terms and concepts of the topic at the margin of each page throughout the textbook. Supplementing this helpful feature are the excellent figures which provide further clarity. Each chapter concludes with a set of questions. This format stimulates the reader to review and be attentive in his or her reading, or simply to investigate the answers at the end of the book.

The initial five chapters deal eloquently with the basic concept of blood cell development and the anatomy of the circulatory system. Special consideration is given to cardiac, renal, hepatic, and fetal circulation. Pertinent physiologic aspects of the red blood cell and oxygen, carbon dioxide transport are discussed in this area.

The chapter on white blood cells heralds the immunologic part of the text, which proceeds with topics such as antigen antibody and complement system. Coverage includes the major histocompatibility complex molecules for blood transfusion as well as solid organ and bone marrow transplantation. Concluding this section is succinct and pertinent information on the immune system.

Subsequent chapters deal with transfusion therapy. Again the author proceeds carefully and systematically from the basic concepts of plasma function to platelets and their role in hemostasis, coagulation components and ABO, and the Rh blood group system. In each topic, the function and indication in various disorders are explained.

Of particular interest is the chapter on the adverse events in transfusion, which details symptomatology, diagnosis, and treatment. Moreover, three charts provide a handy summary to this chapter. This is followed by transfusion and disease transmission, which is handled in detail. Particularly outstanding are the chapters that deal with the component therapy, apheresis, and methods of autologous blood recovery. They are unique in their clarity and relative brevity. Of further interest is the last chapter which covers bone marrow transplantation.

Because many of the book's readers are not likely to be hematologists, a glossary of prominent terms is provided. Also, 78 common blood tests are defined, and indications, uses, and interpretation of the results are provided for each test. Appendix I contains a brief (two-page) synopsis on heparin. Explained in detail are its uses in therapy, blood tests that monitor heparin, heparin and antithrombin III interaction, and finally heparin reversal. In addition, Appendix II contains one page of scientific symbols and their equivalents. A bibliography of pertinent publications, many from 1997, supports the text. The index concludes the book.

The author rightfully notes in his acknowledgements that this textbook was reviewed and suggestions were made before its publication by staff members of Massachusetts General Hospital and other individuals concerned with blood and blood therapy. This augmented the thoroughness and conciseness of his endeavor.

Are there deficiencies? The reviewer would not see the absence of the following as a deficiency but as what would have been a complement to this excellent work: a chapter dedicated to bloodless medicine in view of emerging literature, especially concerning Jehovah's Witnesses. Also missing are descriptions of short chain heparin and heperinoids, as well as antifibrinolytic therapy.

Blood, Self-Teaching Hematology, Immunology, and Transfusion Therapy certainly deserves attention. Excellent and well-organized chapters cover the entire content of the field with clarity and simplicity. It is a handy and a valuable reference. It will serve its target audience including the medical practitioner, students, allied health personnel-nurses, perfusionists, blood bank personnel, and others.


INS Newsline, Vol. 19, No. 5, September/October 1998. Published by the Intravenous Nurses Society

The reviewer found BLOOD accurate and easy to understand while advanced with details required for appropriate applications to clinical practice. Multiple tables and graphics throughout the text are concise and well defined, with key terminology as marginalia. At the close of each chapter, summary review questions reinforce the material covered.

This is a practical text covering hematology, immunology, and transfusion therapy as well as over 70 commonly ordered blood tests. A great resource for your reference libraries, the reviewer highly recommends this text as an adjunct to the healthcare professional's clinical practice.


Dr. Fred Darr, Director, Medical Affairs, Plasma Operations, American Red Cross

I found this excellent text to be clearly and accurately written in a straightforward style. Numerous illustrations and blood test examples support the text and serve to clarify and explain concepts. The question and answer sections add educational value to the book, further enhancing this fine volume's suitability as an introductory textbook for medical students, health care personnel and industry. (June, 1998)


Jerry Ortolano, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Vice President
CardioVascular Group, Pall Medical

The title Blood is a wholly appropriate descriptor of this eloquent primer on the subject of hematology. Any good fundamental technical writing attempts to balance that which is essential to understand with what is nice to know while challenging the reader to move on to the next level of comprehension. Using these benchmarks, Blood is excellent.

John Dailey's work transcends all expectations in providing a seamless transition from a fundamental description of the cellular and soluble constituents of blood through an effortless appreciation of complex topics such as homozygous haplotypes and alloimmunization. This is a must-read for any reasonably intelligent layperson, allied health professional, or medical student who wants or needs to understand the fundamental principles of hematologic disorders and implications of transfusions or who longs for a greater appreciation of the role blood constituents play in maintaining life and good health. This work uniquely assumes nothing, can be understood by anyone, and even the most serious student of the subject will be able to gain a greater appreciation of the subject through the masterful syntax the author provides.

More detailed than Dailey's Notes on Blood, this book is still easily read and stands to bring a great return on investment for those who belong to advocacy groups concerned with issues related to blood or for anyone in the business of selling concepts or products to blood specialists or for anyone who requires an understanding of hematology. Dailey's Notes on Blood is currently required reading for all new hires but now we are seriously contemplating substituting the more definitive work Blood as a resource for those involved in the sale of cardiovascular products at Pall Medical. (June, 1998)


Gary Reeder, CP, Visiting Research Assistant Professor of Surgery,
McGowen Center for Artificial Organ Development, Artificial Heart and Lung Program,
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine;
Chairman: Transfusion Practices, American Society of Extracorporeal Technology

Blood covers a broad range of topics very effectively - topics perceived by most as difficult at best. The material is well organized and should be easily and productively understood by a wide range of readership. Margin notes on each page provide rapid identification of local topic highlights. This informative reference book will be of value to those in the allied health professions and to students preparing for entrance throughout the health care field and the medical products industrial community. A better understanding of clinician requirements by those in health care professions ultimately benefits patients.

I would commend the text for presenting immunology and blood banking sections in a format which allows for rapid understanding for those having minimal prior exposure to such topics. (June, 1998)