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From The CriticsReviewer: Akhil Maheshwari, MD (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This new edition of the leading textbook on neonatal ventilation with worldwide readership adds new chapters on ventilator-associated pneumonia, evidence-based quality improvement, human factors in the management of ventilators, and neonatal ventilation in under-resourced settings, while updating the rest.
Purpose: As in previous editions, the editors aim to provide the best-validated information on ventilatory management of newborn infants.
Audience: The book is potentially useful for a wide range of readers, including students, residents, and clinicians practicing neonatology, pediatric critical care, pulmonology, anesthesia, and emergency medicine.
Features: It covers physiological principles of neonatal ventilation, strategies for ventilatory management of neonates, use of volume-targeted and high-frequency ventilation, inhaled nitric oxide, ECMO, and complications of ventilatory therapy. In addition, useful chapters focus on the interpretation of blood gases, pharmacological adjuncts, and nutritional support. Despite its many strengths, the book has a number of readily evident weaknesses. Although the wide range of topics the book covers creates a unique resource for readers, the progressive addition of peripheral themes seems to be diluting its focus on ventilatory management, which should form its core. Several chapters, including the ones on patient-triggered ventilation and pulmonary function, and the graphics can be improved with updated information. The format is densely packed, which makes it harder to read. The book's readability could be improved by careful pruning of information that is being retained for its historical perspective. The use of color, even if monochromatic, also might be helpful. Although the number of figures and highlighted boxes has increased over time, the ratio of space dedicated to illustrations vs. text is still very small and can be improved.
Assessment: This is a leading resource on ventilatory management of the neonate. This edition, which has been revised extensively, maintains its strengths in sections on conventional and new modalities of ventilation. Addressing the format issues would improve its readability and eliminating the sections on peripheral themes would refocus the book on ventilatory management, which should be the logical core. The editors may need to decide whether they envision this as a book on neonatal pulmonology or wish to maintain its current place as the leading, management-focused book on ventilatory management of the neonate.