James C. Eisenach, M.D., Editor

The Pediatric Pain Handbook, by J. K. Deshpande and J. D. Tobias. St. Louis, Mosby-Year Book, 1996. Pages: 387. Price: $32.95.

The Pediatric Pain Handbook is a timely addition to the medical literature and a worthy addition to other, more comprehensive texts on the subject. Its coverage of the treatment of acute pain is relatively complete, and the sections on the management of sedation in children are extremely well written. There is an excellent section on the management of pain in children with medical illnesses, and I was very appreciative of Dr. McClain's discussion of the prevention and management of mucositis. Similarly, the section on regional analgesia for postoperative pain management is interesting, even for those who practice the craft daily.

The diagrams are well done and demonstrate some of the nuances of the treatment of infants and children. The appendices are complete, and every reader that has administrative responsibility should appreciate the inclusion of the Vanderbilt Sedation Policy. The size of the text is perfect for a coat pocket; that is where my copy stays.

Though this book was written predominately by anesthesiologists, it should be read and understood by every pediatric practitioner-including pediatricians, surgeons, and nurses. It is concise enough to be readily useful and complete enough to provide the information that almost any clinician will need to care for children. The text will be of interest to oncologists as well as to critical care specialists.

At less than 35 dollars, The Pediatric Pain Handbook is a must for the pediatric pain practitioner and for others that deal with seriously ill infants and children. It is concise, well written, accurate, and affordable. I recommend this text highly.

Raeford Brown, M.D., Division of Pediatric Anesthesia, Arkansas Children's Hospital, 800 Marshall Street, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202-3591.