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Paediatric Advanced Life Support: A Guide for Nurses (second edition)

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Title: Paediatric Advanced Life Support: A Guide for Nurses (second edition)

Author: Phil Jevon

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012

Reviewer: Kim Shrieves, child health nursing

What was it like?

This pocket-sized text book provides a practical and systematic approach to the recognition and management of the seriously ill child. It is a concise yet comprehensive guide to the knowledge, skills, equipment and drugs necessary to firstly recognise the deterioration of a child’s condition, then effectively deliver appropriate resuscitation to infants and children conforming to current Resuscitation Council UK 2010 guidelines.

Following an overview of paediatric advanced life support (PALS) other areas covered include resuscitation equipment, airway management and ventilation, ECG interpretation and management of cardiac arrhythmias, defibrillation and electrical cardioversion, specific treatments and drugs used to help restore cardiac output and post-resuscitation care, including safe transportation is addressed.


What were the highlights?

The highlights within this book  include the chapter on resuscitation in special situations such as acute severe asthma, trauma, electrocution, hypothermia and epiglottitis where modifications of basic and advanced life support guidelines are required to optimise chances of survival.

Additionally, featured within the final sections of this book arechapters written by other experts in the field of resuscitation and paediatrics. They discuss the principles of supporting bereaved families throughout and immediately following resuscitation attempts. An introductory discussion of some of the legal and ethical issues relating to resuscitation including record keeping and audit, and the importance of regular training and updating of competence and skills.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The book is an accessible, logical, evidence-based approach to paediatric advanced life support based on the most recent research. It encompasses Resuscitation Council UK 2010 guidelines,  protocols and practical insights with recommendations based on professional experiences. The information provided is set out following the inclusion of clear learning objectives and is complemented by the inclusion of pictures, tables and algorithms for increased clarity, acting as memory aids to enable the rapid and effective delivery of treatment. This book is presented clearly and despite being of small size it covers the range of topics within this area  well, including references helpful for further reading, without neglecting any important issues. As such it makes an excellent source of reference for those involved in paediatric advanced life support.

Who should read it?

I would recommend this book to any health professional likely to encounter an emergency situation.

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