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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Jay P. Goldsmith, MD (Tulane University School of Medicine)
Description: With the publication of this ninth edition (previous edition in 2005) of this venerable book, the torch has been passed to new editors, Drs. Gleason and Devaskar. One of four major books in neonatology, originally published by a pediatrician in 1960, it has been modernized to reflect the needs of practitioners at all levels in this field. Its 102 chapters and nearly 1,500 pages, supplemented by access to a website with the complete text and downloadable images, represent a very readable and comprehensive resource for the modern practice of neonatology.
Purpose: This is a comprehensive review of all aspects of neonatal care that serves as a reference for both common and unusual conditions. In the preface, the editors review the history of the book and make a case for the importance of textbooks in the modern world of rapidly acquired online information and CDs. The new edition is more practical than the original editions, which were unique in their pathological approach.
Audience: This can be used by all providers of neonatal care including trainees, nurses, advanced practice nurses, respiratory therapists, and physicians. Like all books in this rapidly changing field, it will need to be supplemented by more recent information that can be gleaned from periodicals. The editors and their contributors are nationally and internationally known authorities in the field.
Features: This edition reflects the preferences of its new editors with extensive revisions of chapters on genetics, pain management, and the fetal origins of adult disease. New chapters cover global neonatal health, transport, the late preterm infant, and craniofacial malformations. Suggested readings are added at the end of each chapter rather than specific references. I found few references to databases such as the Cochrane review to substantiate recommendations made by individual contributors. Basic black-and-white photographs are augmented with excellent color plates at the beginning of the book. Expense permitting, this would be a nice addition to the dermatology chapter.
Assessment: This is comparable to the other three major neonatology textbooks, although each has had a traditional niche. This one has been stronger in the area of pathology, MacDonald et al. (Avery's Neonatology: Pathophysiology and Management of the Newborn, 6th edition (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005)) has been very clinically oriented and practical, Martin et al. (Fanaroff and Martin's Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine: Diseases of the Fetus and Infant, 9th edition (Elsevier, 2011) is more academic, and Spitzer (Intensive Care of the Fetus and Neonate, 2nd edition (Elsevier, 2005)) concentrates more on the intensive care aspect of newborn care. However, the new editors have made the new edition of this book more practical and clinically oriented, which should make it more competitive with the others as the go-to reference in this field.