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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Lori Naquin, RN (Ochsner Medical Center)
Description: This book details the interdisciplinary teamwork involved in pediatric palliative care and emphasizes the importance of bringing together all team members to optimize the care of the patient and to give the patient and family the best possible quality of life. The most unique part of the book is the excellent neonatal section.
Purpose: According to the authors, this is the first book written for interdisciplinary clinicians who care for children and adolescents living with life-threatening conditions.
Audience: The book is intended for students and both novice and senior clinicians, but it also targets other medical supportive providers including child life specialists, practitioners of palliative care, psychosocial clinicians, chaplains, and hospice professionals.
Features: Among the many helpful topics the book covers are the role of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teamwork, ethics in palliative care, and resuscitation vs. DNR orders. Most importantly, it discusses early palliative care after diagnosis is made. Other topics addressed are what happens when the end of life is near, what to treat and when to order medications for comfort and pain to help ease suffering. One area that always distresses families is wondering what will happen at the end of their child's life. A wonderful section explains what to look for and clearly defines responses to these questions.
Assessment: This is an excellent book. It is much needed in the practice of pediatric and neonatal palliative care and touches on many subjects useful to palliative care in the hospital setting. I have referred to it several times since it has appeared on my desk. There are few books that cover palliative care in the neonatal population, so I was pleased to see this section in the book.