Behrman, R.E NEONATOLOGY St. Louis: C. V. Mosby Company. 1973, $41.50.
This book, under the editorship of Dr. Richard E. Behrman, is undoubtedly one of the most valuable texts in the field of neonatology. Dr. Behrman, a foremost neonatologist, has selected contributors who are experts in their particular areas. These contributors, from various parts of the country, add to the volume's value by offering a diversity of views.
There are 21 chapters dealing with the entire course of the newborn baby. Each chapter contains many tables, graphs, pictures, and x-rays that make the text more useful and readable. All the chapters have a current bibliography that gives the reader an opportunity to study the original source if he so desires.
I have divided this volume into three main sections: (1) the prenatal course, delivery, and immediate postnatal period; (2) diseases, disorders, and disturbances that may involve the neonate; and (3) a list of tables that give various normal values.
The first section would include Chapters 1 to 7. Dr. Behrman and Dr. Miles J. Novy, an obstetrician, deal with the high-risk infant. Ultrasound, amniocentesis, fetal monitoring, and the determination of fetal maturity are described. Dr. Stanley James deals with emergencies in the delivery room, and Dr. Behrman and Dr. Henry H. Mangurten describe birth injuries. Dr. Behrman and DT. John M. Driscoll, Jr., then describe the physical examination of the infant as well as various aspects of routine and special care of the neonate, including prenatal therapy. In these chapters Dr. Driscoll describes in detail the normal newborn nursery, which offers type 1 care; the transitional care nursery, offering type 2 care; and the neonatal intensive care nursery, offering type 3 care. Today, when regionalization of newborn care is becoming more and more the accepted rule in many areas of the United States, this chapter becomes invaluable. Dr. Marshall Klaus and Dr. John Kennel remind us that long periods of physical separation may adversely affect maternal performance; they also deal with death of a newborn or stillbirth. I think that the chapter on care of the mother is one of the best.
In section 2 the reader can find nearly all conditions encountered in the care of the newborn. Dr. Samuel F. Gotoff discusses infection. He deals with neonatal septicemia, meningitis, and other conditions, as well as with commonly used antimicrobial agents for the neonate. Various immunologie conditions are also considered. Dr. George Honig then describes disorders of the blood and vascular system, dealing with anemia, discussing bilirubin encephalopathy, and touching on phototherapy. Enzyme defects are also discussed. Dr. Audrey Brown goes into greater detail on neonatal hyperbilirubinemia, how to investigate it and how to treat it. Following this, Dr. Ruth Harris reminds us that liver disease can also produce icterus. She also describes breast-milk jaundice and intrauterine and neonatal hepatitis, as well as the inspissated bile syndrome. I believe that the contributors might have gone into biliary atresia in more detail - but then this diagnosis is usually not made in the neonatal period.
Dr. Martin H. Lees discusses diseases of the cardiovascular system. Not only does he write about the unusual cardiac conditions, but he also has a section on genetics and congenital heart disease. The ECG, blood gases, vectorcardiography, and phonocardiography are also mentioned. An excellent table elucidates the cause of cyanosis from clinical signs and simple laboratory tests. There is also a clear discussion of heart failure in the neonatal period, including treatment. Over 100 pages are devoted to this very important subject.
Dr. Peter AuId of Cornell discusses diseases of the respiratory system. He mentions not only the idiopatnic respiratory distress syndrome but also the entire pathophysiology of the lungs, oxygen therapy, meconium aspiration, transient neonatal tachypnea, aspiration pneumonia, pulmonary hemorrhage, abnormalities of the trachea and bronchi, and problems with tracheotomy in the newborn period. Dr. AuId also goes into great detail on the Wilson-Mikity syndrome.
Dr. Murray Davidson, the pediatrie gastroenterologist, discusses diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. He does this on a physiologic basis and mentions various diseases and disorders as well as motility aspects of the infant's gastrointestinal system. There is also a section on the biochemical aspects of the digestive system, and I was delighted to read about specific feeding regimens in the neonate. This valuable text also has chapters on inborn disorders of intermediary metabolism, metabolic and endocrine disturbances, craniofacial problems, orthopedic problems, diseases of the skin, and ophthalmology.
The third section is of special value. It is an Appendix that consists of 26 tables giving normal values. I believe that the listing of drugs and dosage used in neonates is very useful for the practicing physician.
In addition to its value to the neonatologjst, this volume offers an excellent review for those taking the neonatal and perinatal sub-board examinations of the American Board of Pediatrics scheduled for November 15, 1975.