May 8, 1987

Mixed Blessings: Intensive Care for Newborns

Author Affiliations

University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles

University of Southern California School of Medicine Los Angeles


by Jeanne Harley Guillemin and Lynda Lytle Holmstrom, 317 pp, $26, New York, Oxford University Press, 1986.

JAMA. 1987;257(18):2500. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390180118044

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This important book by nonphysicians looks into an area usually closed to the public. In the last decade, newborn intensive care has become the third-highest income producer in the United States. More than 10% of all infants born spend some time in a newborn intensive care unit (NICU); for a few, the stay lasts weeks or months.

This book analyzes the organization of these units and considers the viewpoint of both the professionals who work in the units and the institution of which the unit is a part. The role of the social workers and psychologists in newborn care is not neglected. The authors consider the infant patient both as an integral part of the organization and as an individual. The parents' needs are explored thoroughly. One chapter compares national and international methods of newborn intensive care. The book