Indian Pediatrics 2001; 38: 1203-1204
Emergencies in Pediatric Practice. Author: B.K. Sohi, CBS Publishers
and Distributors, 4596/1A, 11-Darya Ganj, New Delhi, IInd Edition, 2001,
Pages 373, Price Rs. 125.00
Handling emergencies form a significant portion of any pediatrician’s clinical work. A quick working diagnosis and prompt institution of appropriate therapy is of utmost importance for salvaging life and preventing sequelae. Time is of essence, and a ready reference text to guide the treating physician is handy.
‘Emergencies in Pediatric Practice’ is a commendable effort in providing a comprehensive account of the common pediatric emergencies and their management. It is clear that the book is essentially based on long years of experience of the author. Most of the approaches outlined in the book are well accepted and time tested. The book has been appropriately divided into 10 sections. The first 3 sections pertain to common emergencies in different age groups viz. newborn and infant, early childhood and adolescence. The remaining chapters deal with special types of emergencies and other important aspects of care.
The book is especially remarkable on two counts. Firstly, the topics covered are of regional importance and deal with priorities of the Indian subcontinent and other tropical areas. Secondly, it includes several aspects which have so far not received adequate attention in books and publications on pediatric emergencies. Pediatricians are often called upon to handle and provide initial care to cases pertaining to allied specialities. Unfortunately, they tend to be relatively unfamiliar with such clinical problems. Salient features regarding surgical emergencies have been covered in the book. Psychiatric and dermatological emergencies have also been dealt with in separate chapters. A complete section deals with stings and bites, which would be particularly useful for doctors working in areas where these problems prevail.
By and large, pediatricians are not accustomed to dealing with medico-legal emergencies in children. These have been elaborately covered. The chapter on handling death and embalming the body is pertinent. Hazards of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures have been highlighted. A brief section on the important aspects of nursing is included.
Standard recommendations have been evolved in recent years by official pediatric bodies on the management of common emergencies, e.g., cardio-pulmonary arrest, shock, bronchial asthma, acute diarrhea, seizures and neonatal emergencies, etc. Some of the approaches advocated in this book are at variance, and it would be appropriate to incorporate or at least give reference to such recommendations. In fact many of the publications in the bibliography are rather old, and it is suggested to update the literature review in the next edition and to avoid reference to articles printed in the lay press. Since practical management of emergencies necessarily demands an algorithmic approach, inclusion of a step-by-step management plan would enhance the value of the book for young doctors.
Nevertheless, the book will prove to be extremely useful in gaining an insight into the pediatric emergencies prevalent in the region and is also recommended for general practitioners who may be dealing with children in their everyday practice.