The textbook titled Managing Long COVID Syndrome is an educational and tractable reference for not only medical providers, but also the general public. This is one of the first texts dedicated to long COVID syndrome and is an important publication for readers in search of a deeper understanding of long COVID syndrome, which has stricken so many throughout the world.
Impressively, this 52-chapter, 310-page book was written by a single author, Dr. Thanthullu Vasu, who practices management of long-term conditions and pain management in the United Kingdom. Much merit should be given to any single-author textbook, such as Managing Long COVID Syndrome. The advantages include a decrease in repetition of material, a uniform cadence of information that is meted out, and maintenance of stylistic conformity.
Due to the relative novelty of long COVID syndrome, the author humbly asks for readers to send comments in order to improve future iterations of the text. This will undoubtedly be warranted as deeper understanding of COVID and the repercussions of this disease will continue to evolve.
Aesthetically, the cover and pages are of high-quality material that will last many years, but not as costly and heavy as a hardback text. The size of the book allows it to easily fit into most any bag or perhaps some pockets. Of note, there are no graphics, figures, or tables, which could be considered with future iterations to enhance understanding of mechanisms and when comparing research.
This book was written with a wide demographic audience in mind, making it an applicable resource for nearly everyone who wishes to learn more about the coronavirus and the management of long COVID syndrome. The text is easy to read with understandable language applicable to not only healthcare providers, but also the non–medically trained public. Of particular interest to those with medical backgrounds is chapter 50, which provides a concise and digestible overview of groundbreaking research on long COVID syndrome.
Each chapter is short and concise without overwhelming focus on medical literature, but instead overarching themes of scientific knowledge and beliefs concerning long COVID syndrome. The “Key Point” bulleted boxes at the end of each chapter are a nice feature that succinctly summarizes main points and allow readers to focus their understanding. Last, the table of contents and index are superbly organized and allow for ease in finding specific topics of interest.
Notably, the book dedicates a chapter to describing the coronavirus and the known variants beginning with the alpha lineage. As with any book dedicated to an ever-changing virus, the text may already be outdated as the last coronavirus variant described is the B.1.1.529 variant. Undoubtedly, future iterations of this worthy text will include detailed knowledge of newer coronavirus variants and the effect of these on the human body. Similarly, the chapter on new medications will need to be revised with future iterations to update findings on the ineffectiveness of ivermectin and other new findings since publication. Last, this chapter on medications and investigational therapies will need to be read with the knowledge that these practices are being studied or are approved in the United Kingdom, and perhaps not generalizable to other countries.
In that vein, this is a United Kingdom–centric book in terms of agencies and research geared toward long COVID syndrome. For example, one chapter is dedicated to long COVID support groups and focuses on a campaign titled LongCOVIDSOS. This campaign predominately works with United Kingdom–based government departments and ministers, including the National Health Service, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Office for National Statistics, and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, and international bodies such as the World Health Organization. Other support groups mentioned are from Wales and Scotland. As far as guidelines aimed at long COVID syndrome, the book emphasizes guidelines from the National Health Service and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence concerning the diagnosis and management of long COVID syndrome. There is one chapter dedicated to the American guidelines for long COVID syndrome.
Some specific examples of care concerning long COVID syndrome include management of fatigue, shortness of breath, sleep disturbances, mental health and mood issues, and nutrition. Additionally, this book spends several chapters on pain management issues associated with long COVID syndrome. This is not surprising as the text is written by a pain specialist who has cared for patients with the unfortunate aftermath of this pandemic disease.
Overall, the novel textbook is a timely publication that meets a heretofore unmet need in the management of long COVID syndrome. Increased dissemination of educational material concerning this disease is warranted as it will likely affect the world for many years.
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