October 21, 1988

Consciousness, Awareness and Pain in General Anaesthesia

Author Affiliations

Northwestern University Medical School Chicago

Northwestern University Medical School Chicago


edited by M. Rosen and J. N. Lunn, 195 pp, with illus, $34.95, Boston, Butterworths, 1987.

JAMA. 1988;260(15):2304-2305. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410150152054

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"Throughout the operation I was aware of terrible pain—the anaesthetic was apparently sufficient to keep me from moving or giving any sign of consciousness but not block any pain. I told my GP and also the doctor in the hospital. They just nodded but seemed not to take any notice." This quotation, taken from a patient who underwent a cesarean section, is presented in a fascinating book entitled Consciousness, Awareness and Pain in General Anaesthesia. Her comments typify the problem that anesthesiologists must face and which was addressed in a two-day workshop held in Cardiff, United Kingdom, in June 1986. Subsequent to that workshop, this book was prepared by many of the participants to share their respective expertise as enhanced by the interaction the workshop afforded.

The book is composed of 23 chapters authored by 26 individuals from the United States, United Kingdom, and several other European countries. The diversity