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Preface

The publication of the 19th edition of Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics combines an important synthesis of clinical pediatrics with the major advances in genomics, diagnosis, imaging, and therapeutics. The 19th edition continues to represent the “state of the art” on the care of the normal and ill neonate, child, or adolescent by presenting both evidence-based medicine and astute clinical experiences from leading international authors.

The promise that translational medicine will improve the lives of all children is greater than ever. Knowledge of human development, behavior, and diseases from the molecular to sociologic levels is increasing at fantastic rates. This has led to greater understanding of health and illness in children, as well as to substantial improvements in health quality for those who have access to health care. These exciting scientific advances also provide hope to effectively address new and emerging diseases threatening children and their families.

Unfortunately, many children throughout the world have not benefited from the significant advances in the prevention and treatment of health-related problems, primarily because of a lack of political will and misplaced priorities. Additionally, many children are at substantial risk from the adverse effects of poverty, war, and bioterrorism. In order for our increasing knowledge to benefit all children and youth, medical advances and good clinical practice must always be coupled with effective advocacy.

This new edition of Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics attempts to provide the essential information that practitioners, house staff, medical students, and other care providers involved in pediatric health care throughout the world need to understand to effectively address the enormous range of biologic, psychologic, and social problems that our children and youth may face. Our goal is to be comprehensive yet concise and reader friendly, embracing both the new advances in science as well as the time-honored art of pediatric practice.

The 19th edition is reorganized and revised from the previous edition. There are the additions of new diseases and new chapters, as well as substantial expansion or significant modification of others. In addition, many more tables, photographs, imaging studies, and illustrative figures, as well as up-to-date references, have been added. Every subject has been scrutinized for updating and improvement in its exposition and usefulness to pediatric health care providers. Although to an ill child and his or her family and physician, even the rarest disorder is of central importance, all health problems cannot possibly be covered with the same degree of detail in one general textbook of pediatrics. Thus, leading articles and subspecialty texts are referenced and should be consulted when more information is desired. In addition, to include as much information as possible and to take advantage of advances in providing background, pathophysiology, and literature citations, we have placed even more material on the website accompanying the printed text. This permits an unlimited ability to provide more detailed and updated information through our associated electronic media. Text vital to the care of children remains printed, but additional material will be provided to the reader at www.expertconsult.com, including links to Gold Standard’s premier online formulary for the most current information available on drugs and dosing.

The outstanding value of the 19th edition of the textbook is due to its expert and authoritative contributors. We are all indebted to these dedicated authors for their hard work, knowledge, thoughtfulness, and good judgment. Our sincere appreciation also goes to Judy Fletcher and Jennifer Shreiner at Elsevier and to Carolyn Redman at the Pediatric Department of the Medical College of Wisconsin. We have all worked hard to produce an edition that will be helpful to those who provide care for children and youth and to those desiring to know more about children’s health worldwide.

In this edition we have had informal assistance from many faculty and house staff of the departments of pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, and University of Rochester School of Medicine. The help of these individuals and of the many practicing pediatricians from around the world who have taken the time to offer thoughtful feedback and suggestions is always greatly appreciated and helpful.

Last and certainly not least, we especially wish to thank our families for their patience and understanding without which this textbook would not have been possible.

Robert M. Kliegman, MD

Bonita F. Stanton, MD

Joseph W. St. Geme III, MD

Nina F. Schor, MD, PhD

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