Pocket Book of Hospital Care for Children: Guidelines for the Management of Common Illnesses with Limited Resources
(2005; 399 pages) [French] [Portuguese] [Russian]


This pocket book is for use by doctors, senior nurses and other senior health workers who are responsible for the care of young children at the first referral level in developing countries. It presents up-to-date clinical guidelines which are based on a review of the available published evidence by subject experts, for both inpatient and outpatient care in small hospitals where basic laboratory facilities and essential drugs and inexpensive medicines are available. In some settings, these guidelines can be used in the larger health centres where a small number of sick children can be admitted for inpatient care.

The guidelines require the hospital to have

  1. the capacity to carry out certain essential investigations—such as blood smear examinations for malaria parasites, estimations of haemoglobin or packed cell volume, blood glucose, blood grouping and cross-matching, basic microscopy of CSF and urine, bilirubin determination for neonates, chest radiography and pulse oximetry— and
  2. essential drugs available for the care of seriously ill children. Expensive treatment options, such as new antibiotics or mechanical ventilation, are not described.

These guidelines focus on the inpatient management of the major causes of childhood mortality, such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, severe malnutrition, malaria, meningitis, measles, and related conditions. They contain guidance on the management of children with HIV infection, neonates with problems, and of the surgical management of children.

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