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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David J. Dries, MD (University of Minnesota Medical School)
Description: This is a multidisciplinary pediatric critical care text.
Purpose: Details of bedside management are carefully combined with the scientific basis of pediatric critical care practice.
Audience: Senior practitioners and trainees in any of the disciplines touching care of the child will benefit from this work: the intensivist, the hospital pediatrician, the pediatric subspecialist, and the pediatric surgeon. The book originates from major pediatric critical care training sites in the U.S. with scattered contributions from Western Europe.
Features: After a series of chapters introducing ground rules and working principles for pediatric critical care, basic physiology is reviewed including principles of genetics, inflammation, and ischemia/reperfusion. Chapters on resuscitation follow with presentations focused on individual organ system support. Concluding sections include trauma and environmental injury, pharmacology, and disaster medicine with an overview of terrorism. Chapters are concise and divided into subtopics. References emphasize primary literature and date to within one year of publication. Photographs and line drawings are black and white in most chapters, although color plates are used effectively to illustrate skin lesions and an enhanced description of poisonous snakes, for example. The table of contents groups chapters according to organ system while a detailed subject index provides excellent access to content. Although the book has 144 chapters and runs approximately 1,800 pages, the paper stock is light, so the overall size of the book is not overwhelming.
Assessment: This is a superb presentation of bedside pediatric critical care principles with appropriate developmental biology, physiology, and molecular science. Excellent detail is provided on surgical procedures in trauma. In scope and detail, this work is comparable to the Textbook of Critical Care, 5th edition, Fink et al. (Elsevier, 2005), which, in my opinion, is the leading general text of adult critical care medicine now available. The pediatric practitioner should have this work available if his or her practice touches the critically ill patient.