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From The CriticsReviewer: Harley G. Ginsberg, MD (Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This manual is the companion to Roberton's Manual of Normal Neonatal Care, 2nd edition (Oxford University Press, 1996), and is directed toward house staff providing care to sick newborns. The previous edition of this book was published in 1993.
Purpose: The book is intended to provide a readily available information source for the care of patients requiring neonatal intensive care. It is neither a primer of neonatal physiology nor an encyclopedic resource. Instead, this manual focuses on a straightforward, problem-oriented discussion of frequently encountered clinical situations and the basis upon which bedside decisions are made.
Audience: Although directed toward residents providing care to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patient, neonatal nurses and nurse practitioners may find this a suitable guide as well. In situations where a general pediatrician may be evaluating and stabilizing a baby prior to transfer, this manual is particularly useful.
Features: Since the authors are from England, the reader should expect to encounter some British jargon. The spelling of words is accordingly quite British as well (i.e. apnoae, hypoglycaemia). The reader should be familiar with concentrations being discussed in terms of millimoles and not milligrams or micrograms. Some of the products and medications recommended for therapy may not be available or considered standard treatment in the United States (i.e. Viminolact or Primene as a source of protein in parenteral nutrition). Certain antibiotics mentioned are also not routine therapy in NICUs in the U.S. (i.e. flucloxacillin, teicoplanin). Most topics in routine NICU care are covered satisfactorily for bedside care, though not discussed in expanded detail. The editors do have a section of the bibliography providing suggestions for further reading. An eight-page table of abbreviations (many of which are not conventionally used) in the beginning of the manual may leave the reader shuttling back and forth between the text and the table.
Assessment: This manual for neonatal bedside care may be helpful to house staff and nursing personnel in the United Kingdom, but its usefulness to those in the United States will be quite limited. Its size makes it reasonably portable and therefore convenient to use, but it must be accepted as a manual and not an in-depth volume of neonatal care. Similar U.S. books such as Merenstein and Gardner, Handbook of Neonatal Intensive Care, 5th edition (Mosby, 2002) might be more practical for U.S. practitioners.