Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Pocket book of hospital care for children: Second edition

Guidelines for the management of common childhood illnesses

World Health Organization

Book cover image

Publication details

Number of pages: 412
Publication date: 2013
Languages: English, French, Khmer, Marathi, Russian, Vietnamese
ISBN: 978 92 4 154837 3



This is the second edition of the Pocket book of hospital care for children. It is for use by doctors, nurses and other health workers who are responsible for the care of young children at the first level referral hospitals. The Pocket Book is one of a series of documents and tools that support the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI). It is an update of the 2005 edition, and presents up-to-date evidence based clinical guidelines from several recently updated and published WHO guidelines and recommendations. The guidelines are for use in both inpatient and outpatient care in hospitals with basic laboratory facilities and essential medicines. These guidelines focus on the management of the major causes of childhood mortality in most developing countries, such as newborn problems, pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, meningitis, septicaemia, measles and related conditions, severe acute malnutrition and paediatric HIV/AIDS. It also covers common procedures, patient monitoring and supportive care on the wards and some common surgical conditions that can be managed in small hospitals.

Details of the evidence on which the Pocket Book is based can be found on the WHO website from the relevant published guidelines provided in the bibliography. This bedside paediatric care guidelines are applicable in most areas of the world and may be adapted to suit country specific circumstances. However, advanced and high care treatment options, such as intensive care or mechanical ventilation, are not described. The Pocket Book is also available in hard copies although the online version will be updated regularly as new evidence emerges.

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