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PediSuite 5.0
  1. E Posner

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    Published by Medical Wizards. Platform: Palm and Pocket PC handheld devices. Requirements: Pocket PC: 4.1 MB of either RAM or storage card memory. Palm OS 3.2-5.4: RAM deploy: 3.46 MB, memory/SD deploy: 1.34 MB RAM, 2.35 MB memory/SD card. US$ 45.99. Buy from: http://www.medicalwizards.com:

    PediSuite is produced by Medical Wizards, a company founded in 2000 by a practising physician. The program is large and consists of 15 modules. Within each module there are numerous options. The selection of calculations, regimes and protocols is huge. Getting to know the content is time well spent as the information that you will be looking for you would usually want to know quickly.

    This is software that aims to be a powerful calculator rather than an information source. Consequently, most of the modules contain some basic information about the topic but “the meat” of the program is numerous calculators that instantly work out dosages, speed of infusion, body mass index, croup score, etc for a given child. The interface is fairly intuitive and once you know what it contains no further guidance is required to be able to use it proficiently. There is one point where I stumbled and for some time thought that the program was freezing the PDA: within many modules you need to enter data about a child (usually weight) before you are allowed to access the content of the module. You also cannot exit these modules until you enter a number in the calculator. This is not a problem once you know it but I was just about to contact the Medical Wizards company when I cracked this.

    In most of the modules the information is given in a cascade of windows. For example, within module PALS you choose “desired item”, let’s say bradycardia. The next window asks for the type of rhythm; from the options you choose “stable” and then the management of the problem pops up.

    The modules include paediatric advanced life support (PALS) protocols, some basic paediatric data like normal vital signs values, laboratory results or immunisation schedules, a mini-poison centre, and growth charts. There are modules calculating various values relating to fluid balance and infusion rates, also for critical care infusions. Several extensive drug databases provide information about various groups of drugs (fever medication, sedation, emergency, over the counter, antibiotics), calculate the dose for a given child, and give information about speed of infusions, compatibility, flavour of suspension, etc. There is also a general index.

    For the users on this side of Atlantic it has to be noted that PediSuite is an American product. In the PALS module, in case of asystole use of a “turkey baster” is recommended. In treatment of shock, you can give a push of “LR”. Some names of the drugs are not so familiar, many dosing regimes are different to those in mainstream UK use, and many investigation results are in different units. While it can complicate use of the information provided it also reminds us that there are many ways of skinning a cat (and surely many ways of basting a turkey?). I was glad to note that centimetres and kilograms can be used in the calculations.

    It is difficult in brief words to convey how rich and versatile is the content of this software. I have spent hours playing with it and I have used it for several weeks at work. I still am not sure if an equation to calculate fractional sodium excretion is not there, or if I have simply not found it. A module “PediCalc” contains 14 different calculators. Some I thought unusual: “CHF and thrombolysis risk” or “oxygen tank routine”… Most of them are very useful like body surface area, peak flow, or conversion of units calculator.

    The more I used this software the more impressed I was, finding more and more useful tools. PediSuite is the most useful PDA program for a paediatric doctor I have come across. It is an extremely powerful tool for any paediatrician and it can be recommended at any stage of their career.

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