Review: 5 Minute Pediatric Emergency Medicine Consult

Review of Fliesher and Ludwig’s 5 Minute Pediatric Emergency Medicine Consult – the truth is in the title…available in hardcover edition and kindle edition.

5 minute paediatric emergency medicine consult
Editors – Robert J. Hoffman, Vincent J. Wang, Richard J. Scarfone

This book is a concise consult providing handy hints when dealing with a child or adolescent in the Emergency Department. The 5 minute reference gives practical information that is easy to digest either before, during or after you’ve seen the patient. Whether, like me, you are just beginning a world of paediatric medicine or an old hand that has ‘seen it all’, it provides a useful double check for those common conditions as well as a handy emergency overview for some of the more weird and wonderful things that children present with.
Despite the daunting size of this book (over 1000 A4 pages), the straightforward A to Z format makes finding what you need effortless and time saving. Each theme is laid out over a 2 page spread and written in easy to read columns with bullet points listing the key features of the pathophysiology, assessment, investigations, differentials, resuscitation, treatment, disposition and follow up. I particularly like the use of admission and discharge criteria, not as an absolute, but a useful pointer to which way things are headed. At the front and back of the book are essential quick reference tables on common resuscitation drugs, rapid sequence intubation, the paediatric coma scale, cardiovascular emergencies, respiratory emergencies, procedural sedation, antidotes and burns estimations.

As a more visual learner some diagrammatic or pictorial representations would be of benefit, but without adding to the size/scope of the book I agree it’s difficult to include. As an American textbook not all of it translates to the Aussie system; for example units used and antibiotic regimes suggested. The inclusion of ICD 9 codes is another area that is perhaps more relevant to our American colleges as I can’t think how I would use it here. In addition considering that so much of paediatric medicine is about good communication with the family a dedicated section on important communication points would not go amiss.

Overall I would recommend this book for anyone that comes into contact with sick children frequently or infrequently. It provides a useful reference for common and uncommon problems with easy to follow tips on assessment, diagnosis, management and follow up. Although not the easiest of books to carry in one’s pocket – it is an essential desktop resource for all emergency departments

Conflict of interest: Given a copy of the book.

Dr Dan Hufton – paediatric medicine registrar

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