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From The CriticsReviewer: Constance Nesbitt, MD (Ochsner Clinic Foundation)
Description: This is a guide to inpatient pediatrics that covers just about every major pediatric specialty and the most commonly encountered inpatient pediatric medical conditions. For each condition, the book addresses diagnostic strategies, differential diagnosis, etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and management.
Purpose: The purpose is to combine the advice of over 100 specialists and pediatricians in a single pocket-sized reference with sufficient detail to guide therapeutic and diagnostic decisions. This is a worthy objective because most pediatricians will cover an inpatient service at some point, as will most pediatric residents and medical students. No one will ever be able to know everything about every specialty or medical condition that will be encountered on an inpatient service. In this constantly evolving field, it would be nice to have one reference that one could depend on for the most up-to-date information and not have to spend time looking through several different sources. This book meets some of the authors' objectives, but not all.
Audience: It is targeted at the medical student, resident, and attending level, as well as physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pediatric nurses, and health practitioners from all disciplines involved in the care of children in the inpatient setting. It is most useful to medical students and residents as well as general pediatricians or hospitalists. It is not detailed enough for a specialist to use for conditions in their particular specialty. As a pediatric hospitalist, I found it helpful, not just for diagnostic and therapeutic decisions, but also as an aid for teaching rounds to highlight the most relevant information about a particular medical condition.
Features: The book covers over 350 of the most commonly encountered medical conditions on an inpatient service and covers the major pediatric specialties from adolescent medicine to infectious disease, pulmonology, neonatology, allergy, sedation, cardiology, gastroenterology, psychiatry, hematology/oncology, emergency medicine, etc. There is also a section on calculations and procedures and an appendix of normal pediatric vital signs, the neonatal code, and PALS algorithms.
Assessment: The authors' goal was to provide a concise but comprehensive book while maintaining a manageable pocket size. I like that this book covered so many of the most commonly seen disorders without adding a lot of zebras, and only had the most pertinent information. I read this book over a period of one month while covering an inpatient service and found it to be quite helpful on a daily basis. It covered just about everything we saw in the hospital that month. The information is up to date and includes guidelines put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Unfortunately, the book is a little large, so it would barely fit in the pocket of my lab coat. Also, the decision to omit a formulary is a huge mistake because the formulary is the biggest reason most of us carry The Harriet Lane Handbook (17th edition, Elsevier, 2005). So, while this book covers more practical medical conditions than the Harriett Lane and I prefer the way that it is written, I won't be kicking the Harriett Lane out of my coat pocket anytime soon. In the next edition I would like to see a formulary, a list of normal lab values for age, more illustrations of procedures, pictures for the dermatology section, and a section on radiology. These are the major limitations of this book (along with its slightly too-large size). However, I do highly recommend it for residents, medical students, general pediatricians, and hospitalists to keep in their arsenal of reference sources.