Description: Part of the Oxford American Pain Library series, this book focuses on perioperative pain control. It stays true to the purpose of the series by remaining short and practical while covering as many topics as possible.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide evidence-based, current strategies for controlling pain after surgery in a concise and compact form. This is a worthy objective, as pain is quite often poorly managed primarily because it is poorly understood. The authors are largely successful in addressing this issue.
Audience: The book targets all clinicians, regardless of their experience, who manage patients in pain. Its simple yet broad approach means it has something for everyone.
Features: It starts with a nice overview of the structure and function of an acute pain service that reviews the duties of various members. Chapter two is an overview of pain anatomy and physiology and provides the basis of preemptive and multimodal analgesia. The third chapter, which reviews how to assess pain during the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative periods, discusses a few experimental techniques of pain assessment. Chapters four and five details the pharmacology of drugs used in pain, both opioid and nonopioid, including acetaminophen, NSAIDs, gabapentin, and ketamine. Chapter six covers all common blocks used perioperatively, describing their techniques and indications. Subsequent chapters review management of pain in the elderly, children, women in labor, and those with chronic pain. Chapters are brief, clear, to the point, and share the same format: introduction, discussion, review of salient features, and a list of references.
Assessment: This is an excellent overview of acute pain management. The simple, straightforward approach belies the hard work necessary to fulfill the mission of optimal perioperative pain control just the approach that's needed to help make medical staff better at evaluating and treating surgical pain.