Obstetric anaesthesia is a specialised practice and covers the entire range of pain relief throughout normal labour as well as general anaesthesia for special procedures such as caesarian section. Whilst there is a specialist group based at main teaching centres who practise obsteric anaesthesia exclusively, the majority of anaesthetists are based at smaller hospitals where there will be no such specialist available. Consequently, it is essential that all anaesthetists are familiar with the anaesthetic requirements of normal labour and of all but the most extreme cases of abnormal labour. This book is aimed primarily at trainee anaesthetists and it will be written to provide enough information for the final FRCA examination, but it will also contain sufficient detail on the various clinical problems which may present at any stage in their future career. The underlying principle is that the anaesthetist must understand the physiology of labour in normal and abnormal situations as well as the interventions of his obstetric colleagues in order to practise safely and effectively. The book will replace J.
Selwyn Crawford's text which presented a personal view, backed by his extensive research experience of obstetric anaesthesia.