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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Anthony Shanks, MD (Washington University School of Medicine)
Description: This is a consumer reference for complicated obstetrical medical problems.
Purpose: The book has an admirable goal, but it only provides brief synopses of each disorder, so parents may not get as much information as they desire.
Audience: Although the book is written for parents, it may be most useful for midlevel providers. The book covers an impressive list of topics, but sections are short, just 1-2 pages in length, and an inquisitive parent may not be satisfied with the amount of information on a given topic. The medical consultant on the book is an internal medicine physician with appropriate credentials. More input from obstetricians/gynecologists would be beneficial.
Features: The book covers basic information such as caffeine and alcohol intake, and complex fetal anomalies such as renal agenesis and arthrogryposis. Each section has pertinent references including from the CDC and ACOG. The section on caffeine would have benefited from an ACOG reference, as moderate caffeine intake appears to be safe (the book advises avoidance). The amount of topics covered is impressive, but each section suffers from its brevity. An example is the omphalocele chapter, which details what it is and the CDC estimate of its prevalence. Although the chapter lists potential offending agents (obesity, alcohol, medications), it does not discuss the risk of aneuploidy or the specific obstetrical interventions that would be needed during pregnancy. Consumers reading this would be left with many more questions. Other chapters are more successful, such as the one on pyloric stenosis, which breaks down this potentially complicated condition and provides information on what the diagnosis actually entails. However, consumers would not buy a book with such brief explanations for a diagnosis they receive.
Assessment: This book covers an impressive number of topics, but for the intended audience of consumers there may be insufficient information on a specific topic to justify its purchase. Perhaps it would be useful in an ultrasound waiting room or a reading room for ultrasonographers who need to have a cursory understanding of the complicated fetal disorders that they image.