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August 31, 1963

Textbook of obstetrics and obstetric nursing

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City


By Mae M. Bookmiller and George L. Bowen. 4th ed. 577 p. $7.50. W. B. Saunders Co., W Washington Sq, Philadelphia 5, 1963

JAMA. 1963;185(9):735. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060090067035

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Since this textbook, specifically directed to nurses, is in its fourth edition 14 years after its first appearance, it may be considered to be successful. It is distressing, therefore, to find it replete with inaccuracies (eg, diuril prevents gastrointestinal absorption of sodium); inconsistencies (eg, differing incidences of home delivery, on pp 291 and 318 ); anachronisms (eg, heart disease as an indication for cesarean section ); pointless repetition ( eg, three x-ray photographs of anencephaly, two identical); and triviality (eg, "For the comfort of the patient and to prevent burns the [perineal flush] water should not be too hot.").

What is of greater concern, however, is the general tone of the book, which might be characterized as both superficial and folksy. In discussing the use of chloroform, for example, the authors state that it can cause "suspended animation," when they mean death, and they advise that the drug be given with "prayer." They

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