This attractive pocket book written by two authors is a ready reckoner for Emergency Room (ER) doctors. The preface states that “A picture speaks louder than thousand words” .It is not therefore surprising that any in-depth presentation and authors’ experiences in each scenario have been considered necessary for the readers. It aptly emphasises that learning is better with visual enhancement.
The authors, fascinated by History of Medicine, have devoted a full download of famous foreign personalities who died of poisoning. It is not clear whether such an information would enhance the capabilities and attitude of an Indian doctor in handling children with poisoning. The fact sheet on prevention of poisoning and contact information on poisoning centres and forensic labs in India are other useful downloads.
A mention of valuable Emergency interhospital transport facilities provided by various state Governments would have been more relevant. (e.g., EMRI in Andhra Pradesh, 108 Ambulances in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu ) .The volume would have greatly benefited any young doctor if the procedures to be undertaken in the ER were mentioned from a medico legal angle . Such information would create awareness among the lay public on the hospital regulations in poisoning cases.
The book is divided into 18 parts with one-third of pages devoted to scorpion sting and snakebite. The book has several strengths: Easy reading, checklist style, good layout and a splutter of over 200 color photographs. References at the end of every chapter, an attractive cover, a good overview and excellent printing are other highlights. Even if not a complete book on pediatric toxicology, it is good to acquire a personal and departmental copy.