1. Section Editor(s): Woods, Jennifer

Article Content

Nursing Care of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Patient

C. Cartwright, & D.C. Wallace (Eds.), Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2013, $209.00, doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-32554-0_10, ISBN: 9783642325533.


In this book, the editors, Cartwright and Wallace, have created a thorough, well-designed, reader-friendly guide to the care of children with a wide variety of neurosurgical disorders. A review of the anatomy and physiology that underlie each broad disorder category provides a solid foundation for the remaining content in each section. Each section of the book then takes the reader through specific disease/disorder etiology, pathophysiology, presenting symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatment options subsections and clearly outlines nursing care and the outcomes expected as a result. Patient and family educational needs are also discussed.


The book is unique in its inclusion of not only case studies that highlight the diagnosis, treatment, and care of affected children but also patient stories and vignettes. These include parents' perspectives on their children's conditions as well as insights into their care that healthcare providers may not realize. The individual sections provide "Practice Pearls" that sum up the critical content take-aways for the reader. Finally, the "Transition" chapter offers the reader wise, practical planning advice to assist nurses, patients, and their caregivers as children transition from the pediatric to the adult world of healthcare. Models of care, barriers to care, and issues of access and insurance are among the many concerns addressed.


Photographs, radiological images, and figures used to illustrate the narrative are superb. The editors have chosen material that clearly supports the content and provides the reader with excellent visuals. Photographs illustrate intraoperative procedures and a variety of procedural and patient-assistive equipment. Computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography scan images guide the reader through the diagnostic process(es) for many of the disorders described in the book. Line drawings and figures also add strength to the native content. Finally, the authors and editors have included tables that summarize content for ease of understanding.


Although the book focuses on pediatric patients and their care, it can provide those of us who primarily care for adults with valuable knowledge as well. For example, the chapter related to spasticity includes a very complete, useful discussion on baclofen pumps that is equally applicable to adult patients. Several sections-intracranial hemodynamics, intracranial pressure management, diagnostic testing modalities for central nervous system infections, for example-are also meaningful in adult care. This book would be a great addition to any neuroscience nurse's library but is especially important for those nurses who care for the youngest, often smallest, and most vulnerable neuroscience patients.


Reviewed by V. Susan Carroll, MS RN CNE, Editor-in-Chief.