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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Roberta G. Williams, MD (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine)
Description: This is the third edition of a text written primarily for generalists and trainees. There have been extensive updates since the previous edition in 1988.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an understandable framework on which to build the concepts of diagnosis and management of congenital and acquired diseases encountered in childhood. This goal is particularly important because of the increasing need for primary care providers to guide resource utilization in the care of children with suspected or known heart disease.
Audience: The book succeeds in being easily understood and is organized in a manner to be useful for the noncardiologist. The author is a respected pediatric cardiologist who served as a family practitioner as well as a subspecialist and therefore is extremely well qualified to communicate with the target audience at their level of concern.
Features: Unfortunately, this complex and diverse subject cannot be reduced to simple blanket description without omitting some areas of legitimate controversy. Because there is such variation in management among centers of excellence, this book offers a oversimplified view of some of the subjects. Statements are made without any reference to the literature which adds to the impression that the book expresses a knowledgeable but isolated viewpoint. It is important to note that there is a serious typographical error on page 384 in which the dosages of dopamine and dobutamine are incorrectly described in units of milligrams per kilogram instead of micrograms per kilogram. Also, potassium and lidocaine dosages are described in a nontraditional and confusing manner. Finally, the book does not describe the newer methods of conscious sedation.
Assessment: Unfortunately, these serious flaws nullify many of the useful aspects of this book, especially because the target audience is not in a position to distinguish between established fact and rapidly changing information in this dynamic field.