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Book review
Spotting the sick child
  1. Derek P Burke
  1. Correspondence to Dr Derek P Burke, Emergency Department, Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TH, UK; derek.burke{at}sch.nhs.uk

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Internet web site. Helping healthcare professionals spot children with serious illness. https://www.spottingthesickchild.com/. UK Department of Health. Crown Copyright, 2000. £5 per year subscription.

This is a new interactive on-line tool commissioned by the Department of Health to support health professionals in the assessment of the acutely sick child. It follows on from the successful DVD ‘Spotting the sick child’.

Children need a different approach from adults and many health professionals from a predominantly adult background are anxious about assessing children.

The novice doctor approaches the child with a potentially serious illness with trepidation. A brief exposure to children as a medical student may be all the experience they have had before they take up their first post in the emergency department. They can prepare by reading books, which tell them how to do it, or attending advanced paediatric life support or European paediatric life support courses, which in addition show them how to do it in a simulated manner. It is not until they have seen perhaps 500–1000 patients in practice that they can be said to have gained sufficient experience to be …

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