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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Susan C. Immelt, PhD, RN (Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing)
Description: This is the second edition of a sensitively presented, thorough reference for the care of the critically ill child. Introducing a family-centered framework for the care of sick children, it reviews pathophysiology, assessment, and management of problems associated with the failure of the major body systems in children. The first edition was published in 1998.
Purpose: The purpose is to serve as a comprehensive reference for nurses caring for critically ill children in any setting. As a reference, this is a useful addition to a pediatric critical care or acute care nurse's library. It does not have the depth and detail of a critical care textbook, but it provides quick and complete guidance for the practicing nurse. As such, the author's objectives are achieved.
Audience: This is intended as a reference for critical care nurses who care for children. It accomplishes this goal. In addition, it also provides a structure for a course in pediatric critical care nursing. The author has a thorough knowledge and evident comfort level with the topic. The contributors and reviewers are known contributors to the field of pediatric critical care.
Features: The book opens with a chapter on a systematic approach to working with families productively in the pediatric intensive care setting to assist the child in recovering from illness. The remaining chapters are arranged by major system. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the developmental anatomy and physiology of that system and proceeds through the major disorders and their management associated with that system. The art is simple, black-and-white line drawings, but they are clear, informative, and relevant. The tables of normal values, management principles, and diagrams of normal anatomy are all useful and easy to read.
Assessment: This is more than just a handbook, and less than a textbook. The experienced practitioner in the pediatric intensive care unit would find it helpful in everyday practice. It comprehensively covers major topics regularly seen in the pediatric ICU, and refers the reader to other references for further discussion of the topics. I would not recommend this to the student nurse; it requires a certain level of experience and understanding to get the most out of this book. Much has been updated in the second edition. Two chapters have been added — disaster preparedness and multisystem trauma. This edition recognizes the many contributions offered by nurses in multisystem trauma.