Pediatric Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice, 2d ed.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice, 2d ed. – book reviews

Richard Birrer

Edited by Roger M. Barkin, Grace L. Caputo, David M. Jaffe, Jane F. Knapp, Robert W. Schafermeyer and James S. Seidel. Pp. 1,269. Price, $160.00. 2nd ed. Mosby, 11830 Westline Industrial Dr., St. Louis, MO 63146-9987, 1997.

Pediatric emergency medicine has become a full-fledged subspecialty in its own right and there has been a need for a textbook addressing this rapidly evolving area. Roger Barkins’ 1,269-page text, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, goes a long way toward filling the gap. Divided into eight clinical parts, 60 chapters and three appendices, the book covers the full spectrum of pediatric emergency medicine. The 114 contributors come from the specialties of pediatrics, emergency medicine, surgery and a variety of subspecialties. In addition, five nationally recognized associate and consulting editors assure the completeness and accuracy of the clinical material.

The first 10 chapters on the care of children provide a framework for the remainder of the textbook. Pre-hospital, epidemiologic, emergency department and critical care, death, quality improvement and legal issues are presented. The ensuing eight chapters are devoted to resuscitation, including newborn emergencies. Trauma and musculoskeletal injuries are detailed in the next 14 chapters, followed by 12 thorough chapters on environmental problems and poisoning. The last 16 chapters cover a potpourri of diagnostic categories from child abuse and neglect to immunologic, dermatologic, otolaryngologic, orthopedic, neurologic, nephrologic, infectious, ophthalmologic, endocrine, hematologic, oncologic, gynecologic, obstetric, gastrointestinal, respiratory and psychiatric disorders. The appendices provide useful laboratory, growth, developmental and immunization reference standards, parental instruction sheets for common illnesses that can be used for telephone triage or reproduced for distribution, and a practical formulary that includes newborn, child and adult dosages. Most emergency procedures, such as tube thoracostomy, venous access, suprapubic aspiration and peritoneal ravage, are discussed in detail and illustrated where appropriate. The text incorporates guidelines from several organizations including the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the College of Surgeons. Tables, protocols, drawings and photos are abundant and clear. References and recommendations are up-to-date. The writing style is succinct and consistent throughout the contributions of the many authors; redundancy among chapters is minimal. Most clinical topics have introductions that include epidemiology and pathophysiology, followed by sections on diagnostic evaluation and management or therapy. The interventional strategies recommended, such as the management of the febrile child or trauma victim, are conservative but practical. The text does not, however, discuss practice guidelines or the impart of managed care.

Pediatric Emergency Medicine compares favorably with the only other text in the field, by Fleischer and Ludwig, titled Textbook of Pediatric Emergency Medicine. Barkin’s new edition is lighter and 735 pages shorter than Fleischer’s, and it avoids some of the redundancies present in the latter. However, Fleischer’s text has a detailed, well-illustrated, 135page section on procedures.

At a cost of $160 and a weight of 6 lbs., the 2nd edition of Pediatric Emergency Medicine is a reasonable investment for physicians practicing emergency medicine and for those whose practices involve a substantial number of seriously ill children. Certainly, any physician planning to take the pediatric emergency boards would be wise to procure this textbook.

RICHARD BIRRER, M.D. Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens Jamaica, N.Y.

COPYRIGHT 1997 American Academy of Family Physicians

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