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Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
The fifth edition of Neonatology: Pathophysiology and Management of the Newborn, edited by Avery, Fletcher, and MacDonald, continues to chronicle the rapid changes in the field of neonatal-perinatal medicine. This edition consists of 59 chapters by 111 contributors and spans the gamut of medical and surgical problems of the fetus and newborn. The majority of the contributors are senior academicians who are well respected in the field and who are still active in clinical and basic investigation.
The editors have made a fine effort to assure consistency of style among chapters of diverse subject matter. Most read easily, are well illustrated, and make good use of tables and diagrams. There is a blending of molecular biology and clinical practicality, well evidenced in such chapters as those on chronic lung disease and immunology. The chapters on renal disease and nutrition are particularly comprehensive for a neonatology text.
Some topics, such as inborn errors of metabolism and the infant of the diabetic mother, receive superficial treatment. The discussion of delivery room management remains independent of the national Neonatal Resuscitation Program, which is not even referenced. A chapter on the physiology of parturition would be a welcome addition. The section on fetal treatment draws some conclusions on the efficacy of fetal surgery that have not yet been satisfactorily demonstrated in randomized, controlled clinical trials. Although the chapters on diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease are thorough, they are disproportionately so, compared with those on neonatal respiratory disorders. I learned more about postoperative care of hypoplastic left heart syndrome than I did about pulmonary surfactants.
The particular copy of the book that I was sent had relatively poor print quality with numerous smudges and variability of contrast. After several passages through this 1648-page text, the binding began to separate at the spine. Perhaps it is time to divide the text into two volumes.
This book contains a number of chapters of important clinical relevance, including the ethics, economics, epidemiology, and medicolegal aspects of neonatal intensive care, subjects often inexplicably omitted from both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education curricula. I found these to be invaluable, and the practitioner of neonatology would be wise to read them.
Overall, this is a well-written and comprehensive textbook, which I would highly recommend to neonatologists at all levels. It is an excellent standard reference.
Neonatology: Neonatology: Pathophysiology and Management of the Newborn. JAMA. 2000;283(20):2723. doi:10.1001/jama.283.20.2723-JBK0524-7-1
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