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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Kenneth A. Schenkman, MD, PhD (University of Washington School of Medicine)
Description: This introductory text in the field of pediatric critical care medicine addresses common issues encountered in the care of critically ill children.
Purpose: The purpose is to "provide a preliminary overview or introduction to critical care medicine." This text fills a useful role in providing a fairly comprehensive but succinct overview of the essential concepts of pediatric critical care medicine.
Audience: It is written for "those who may be periodically faced with caring for critically ill children," and for "house staff of various disciplines, for medical students, and for nursing staff." It is also an excellent introduction for professionals who care for other hospitalized children and serves as a concise review for specialists in both medical and surgical fields.
Features: Organized in the traditional manner, this book starts with the basics of airway management, mechanical ventilation, and circulatory physiology. The succeeding chapters cover management strategies for common illnesses and conditions encountered in the pediatric intensive care unit. Review of issues encountered in the ICU include monitoring, sedation, fluid and electrolyte balance, nutrition, and blood product administration. This book has many concise tables and algorithms in keeping with the practical approach used throughout. Each chapter is generally well referenced with appropriate and current sources for further reading.
Assessment: In my opinion, this is a well-written and useful text for a wide range of professionals who either occasionally or more frequently care for critically ill infants and children. It is easy to read and covers the fundamental concepts of pediatric critical care medicine. Although it can be used as a reference, it should be read cover-to-cover for those who are interested in learning the essentials of this complex field.