“Why this child? Why this disease? Why now?”
Barton Childs, MD
The Harriet Lane Handbook was first developed in 1953 after Harrison Spencer (chief resident in 1950–1951) suggested that residents should write a pocket-sized “pearl book.” As recounted by Henry Seidel, the first editor of The Harriet Lane Handbook, “Six of us began without funds and without [the] supervision of our elders, meeting sporadically around a table in the library of the Harriet Lane Home.” The product of their efforts was a concise yet comprehensive handbook that became an indispensable tool for the residents of the Harriet Lane Home. Ultimately, Robert Cooke (department chief, 1956–1974) realized the potential of the Handbook, and, with his backing, the fifth edition was published for widespread distribution by Year Book.
Since that time, the handbook has been regularly updated and rigorously revised to reflect the most up-to-date information and available clinical guidelines. It has grown from a humble Hopkins resident “pearl book” to become a nationally and internationally respected
clinical resource. Now translated into many languages, the handbook is still intended as an easy-to-use manual to help pediatricians provide current and comprehensive pediatric care.
Today, The Harriet Lane Handbook continues to be updated and revised by house officers for house officers. Recognizing the limit to what can be included in a pocket guide, additional information has been placed online and for use via mobile applications. The online-only content includes references, expanded text, and additional tables, figures, and images. In addition to including the most up-to-date guidelines, practice
parameters, and references, we will highlight some of the most important improvements in the twenty-second edition of The Harriet Lane Handbook:
The Emergency Management and Trauma, Burn, and Common Critical
Care Emergencies chapters have been reorganized. The Emergency and
Critical Care Management chapter now focuses on the medical management
of common critical care emergencies, while the management of
trauma, including burns, has been consolidated into the Traumatic Injuries