Valley of Tiny Shadows-Bedside Stories of Critically Ill Newborns

9780984755813: Valley of Tiny Shadows-Bedside Stories of Critically Ill Newborns
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Despite incredible advances in technology and scientific knowledge, newborn infants sometimes die, leaving parents grieving and wondering why my baby? Neonatal deaths affect the nurses and doctors who care for high risk infants as well. Valley of Tiny Shadows is a narrative account of critically ill and dying babies and their families as seen through the eyes of the attending physician. The stories are filtered through the prism of the development of neonatology as a subspecialty of pediatrics. Both neonatology and the individual neonatologist demonstrate the inevitable maturation that occurs with thirty years experience. Woven throughout the book s stories is the fascinating history of medical advances, challenges, dilemmas and controversies which shaped the development of neonatology, and which continue to confront and test its doctors and nurses daily. Selected clinical examples of critically ill neonates and their families illustrate the evolution of the internal culture of neonatal intensive care units, and the emerging importance of neonatal medical ethics. All facets of neonatal disease are included: newborns with congenital anomalies, infants requiring life-saving surgery, babies adversely affected by the events of labor and delivery, and tiny infants born at the cusp of viability. Parents use denial and anger as primary defense mechanisms to cope with bad news about their newly born children. Valley of the Tiny Shadows tells how fighting denial, defusing anger, and providing empathetic support places an additional burden on neonatal intensive care unit nurses and doctors, healthcare personnel who viewed their primary roles as providers of diagnostic and supportive medical care to their small patients. How does a twenty-something pediatric resident reconcile book knowledge with the clinical reality of a dying newborn? What thoughts plague her as she tries in vain to save a tiny preemie? How does a mother react when her baby, afflicted with severe anomalies, dies and then spontaneously comes back to life thirty minutes after being declared dead? Can the healthcare team predict which infants will survive and which ones will die, and how do they counsel parents regarding poor outcome? What if they are wrong in their predictions? What factors explain the varied parental reactions to news that their newborn will be handicapped or not survive to go home? How does the ticking of a mother s biological clock change the expectations for her high risk baby and the demands placed on his healthcare providers? What happens when inter-hospital politics interfere with medical care? Do parents of extremely premature babies ask doctors to play God? Do doctors play God, and how do they live with their decisions? How do parents facing the birth of a baby with a lethal syndrome approach palliative treatment? These are some of the questions that Valley of the Tiny Shados tries to answer with open, honest and frank dialogue.

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About the Author:

Dr. Linda Mann Sacks, a native of Philadelphia, is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She received her medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University in New York City in 1973. Dr. Sacks took five years to complete her degree, taking a year off between third and fourth year studies to give birth to her first child, the first female student at P&S to ever do so. After internship and residency in Pediatrics at the Children s Hospital of Philadelphia, she completed a fellowship in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Sacks is Board Certified in Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine. Following a short career in academic medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, she moved to Savannah, Georgia where she has practiced clinical neonatology since 1983. Dr. Sacks is Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics on the faculty at Mercer University School of Medicine. She is currently the Medical Director of an eight physician, six nurse practitioner group and oversees a neonatal intensive care unit that admits 800 medical and surgical patients a year. She is a past president of the medical staff at Memorial University Medical Center. Her colleagues and co-workers respect Dr. Sacks for her common sense, frankness, and integrity: what you see is what you get. In her spare time Dr. Sacks writes poetry, reads mysteries, and is an active community volunteer. She and her non-physician husband Stephen have three grown sons, three wonderful daughters-in-law and (so far) two grandchildren. Valley of Tiny Shadows is Dr. Sacks first book.


The world of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is one that most people rarely encounter, unless they have had the experience of having a critically ill newborn infant. Few situations in medicine are as stressful and as complex as life in the NICU, given the size of the typical patient and the severity of the illnesses that occur in these babies. For parents of NICU infants, no one is more important than the neonatologist, who understands not only the unique diseases involved, but also the emotional needs of the family during this period of great turmoil. Few physicians in neonatal medicine, however, have both the medical skills as well as the ability to accurately convey what it is like to shepherd the neonate through the dark canyons of the NICU. For the reader of Valley of Tiny Shadows, Dr. Linda Sacks, an extraordinarily talented and experienced neonatologist, takes us on an unforgettable journey through this little-known area of medicine with great eloquence and insight. Her fascinating account of her life s work in the NICU will stay with the reader long after the last story is told, serving as a reminder of how precious and fragile life can be for these tiniest of all patients. Valley of Tiny Shadows is simply an incredible experience, told by a truly remarkable physician. --Alan R. Spitzer, MD, Senior Vice President and Director, The Center for Research, Education, and Quality, MEDNAX, Inc./ Pediatrix Medical Group/ American Anesthesiology

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9780984755806: Valley of Tiny Shadows - Bedside Stories of Critically Ill Newborns

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ISBN 10:  0984755802 ISBN 13:  9780984755806
Publisher: Gamzu LLC, 2012

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Linda M. Sacks; M.D.
Published by Gamzu LLC (2012)
ISBN 10: 0984755810 ISBN 13: 9780984755813
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Book Description Gamzu LLC, 2012. Condition: New. Terrence Bryant (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0984755810

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