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From The CriticsReviewer: Rebecca Hutchings, MD (Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: The Harriet Lane Handbook is the key portable resource for pediatric resident physicians. It contains management algorithms for all major pediatric disease processes and an extensive updated pharmacy with accurate pediatric dosing recommendations. This updates the 18th edition of 2008.
Purpose: This is supposed to be the "pearl book" for pediatric house officers. It was originally created by house officers, and each update is completed with the input of current house officers to target the most necessary information for these physicians in their day-to-day practice.
Audience: Although the book is aimed specifically at pediatric house officers, it is an excellent resource for medical students as well as other house officers doing pediatric specialty rotations (i.e., emergency medicine physicians or surgical residents). It is also an essential resource in any pediatric emergency department or urgent care facility because it has the most up-to-date pediatric medication dosing recommendations.
Features: The handbook uses a systems-based approach to address most major pediatric disease processes. The material is generally summarized in table or graph format with easy-to-follow algorithms for patient management. An excellent quick dermatologic resource has pictures of common rashes. The fluid and electrolytes section is essential for any intern learning to write intravenous fluid and electrolyte replacement orders for patients. Easy-to-use equations and examples are particularly helpful. Emergency management algorithms for diseases such as asthma and epilepsy are particularly useful resources for house officers on call or in the emergency department. Up-to-date vaccine schedules for physicians in the clinic setting are invaluable. There is now an online element, denoted by a mouse icon, which further expands the usefulness of this resource. The online component provides a more in-depth discussion of diseases (and covers a scope that would make a book too large to carry in a pocket).
Assessment: This is the best portable resource for residents available. It is a must-have for all pediatric house officers, and many pediatric training programs provide this to their residents. The updated version is always necessary due to changes in the formulary section, infectious disease sections, and the current vaccination schedule guidelines, which do change from year to year.