Article Text

Download PDFPDF
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}

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Internet web site. Helping healthcare professionals spot children with serious illness. 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 …

View Full Text


  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.