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Assessment of the Newborn

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(4):337. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140060019015.
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My personal contention, as a neonatologist, is that any primary care practitioner involved in newborn care should be well enough versed in neonatal problems to be able to use standard neonatology references. Putting that bias aside, I would like to establish whether this guide is usable for the primary care physician.

The text is organized in four parts; however, the unique problem-oriented approach with emphasis on initial signs and symptoms does not appear until part 3.

Infections in the newborn are highlighted as special problems in part 1; however, the coverage is disappointing. Since I encounter infants who are referred to our tertiary center with a diagnosis of sepsis and for whom treatment was critically delayed far too often, I concur that infections, and particularly sepsis, deserve special attention. The urgency to perform diagnostic studies and initiate antibiotic and other adjunctive treatment in the infant suspected to have bacterial sepsis


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