Description:This is the standard source for the latest guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). It addresses a broad spectrum of mostly hospital issues from both pediatric and obstetric standpoints, although it is more heavily weighted toward care of the newborn in the hospital. Readers are referred to a companion publication, Guidelines for Women's Health Care: A Resource Manual, 3rd edition (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2007), for more detailed guidelines for the care of women and pregnancy. However, important organizational and administrative guidelines for all of perinatal care are presented in this book. The fifth edition was published in 2002.
Purpose:The book is compiled by select committees of the AAP and ACOG as a resource of the latest recommendations, published policies, and best practices in this field. The manual discusses facilities, equipment, personnel, and protocols necessary for the delivery of optimal perinatal care. This edition is more evidence-based than previous editions and expanded to include many new areas such as quality improvement. The authors meant this to be the defining book in the field for these issues and they have met their objective.
Audience:Medical professionals and administrators practicing in the field of perinatal care are the intended audience. Administrative leaders in hospitals will use this manual to define how their perinatal care units should be structured, managed, and function. Also despite thecaveat found in the preface that the manual offers guidelines and "not strict operating rules," the book will also find its way into the medical-legal arena for obvious reasons.
Features:The manual covers the organization of perinatal health care services, inpatient and interhospital care of the perinatal patient. The rest of the book is devoted to the sequential management of the perinatal dyad from antepartum care of the mother to the care of the baby, including potential complications and discharge. The final two chapters deal with perinatal infections and infection control. New material in this edition includes quality improvement initiatives, patient safety, and new evidence-based recommendations for effective diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. The appendixes have always been helpful and this year the authors have added a section on web site resources. The book is short on illustrations, but when necessary they are included, such as the bilirubin nomogram and the resuscitation algorithm.
Assessment:This is the major defining resource for professionals practicing in this field. It is updated every 5 to 6 years by select committees of the AAP and ACOG and represents the best available evidence in this area. Administrators and practitioners will constantly refer to this manual for answers to questions concerning the proper organization and conduct of perinatal care in the hospital setting.