Introduction Koletzko B, Poindexter B, Uauy R (eds): Nutritional Care of Preterm Infants: Scientific Basis and Practical Guidelines. World Rev Nutr Diet. Basel, Karger, 2014, vol 110, pp 1–3 (DOI: 10.1159/000358451)

Historical Perspective

First, I want to warmly congratulate the editors and authors of this new volume of ‘Nutritional Care of Premature Infants’. I was amused and privileged to be invited to attend the meeting of the authors in Munich, Germany, as the ‘old man’ to come to bless the event, on the invitation of esteemed Professors Koletzko and Uauy – wonderful editors who I have worked with on many occasions in the past. The story of this book actually goes back to 1984 [1], when we first published ‘Vitamin and Mineral Requirements in Preterm Infants’, where my preface indicated the ‘need to give tentative answers to ‘‘real-life situations’’ of the pre-term infant in the nursery’. The authors were instructed to concisely present their recommendations and provoke discussions with regard to the difficulties in arriving at these particular recommendations. Over the years, several books have also contributed directly and indirectly to the development and presentation of the present book. In sequence, they were, in 1988 ‘Nutrition during Infancy’ [2]; in 1993 ‘Nutritional Needs of the Preterm Infant: Scientific Basis and Practical Guidelines’ [3] wherein we stated: ‘the book is meant to be practical and easily accessible so that in the ‘‘middle of the night’’ the practitioner would have information readily available for use in the management of preterm infants’; in 1997 ‘Nutrition during Infancy’ [4], and the most recent book, in 2005, ‘Nutrition of the Pre-Term Infant: Scientific Basis and Practical Guidelines’ [5]. These books played important roles in developing our current thinking, in terms of content and how best to organize and present the information, particularly focusing on practical and useful information in the clinical setting. What drove our relatively visionary effort was the feeling that most books in this field had been written for rather elite groups of investigators and neonatologists, who normally read the literature from original scientific articles, but were hard put to find a reference material that they could use for practical purposes. Thus developed the clear emphasis of bringing the theoretic considerations for determining nutrient re-

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Reginald C. Tsang



Koletzko B, Poindexter B, Uauy R (eds): Nutritional Care of Preterm Infants: Scientific Basis and Practical Guidelines. World Rev Nutr Diet. Basel, Karger, 2014, vol 110, pp 1–3 (DOI: 10.1159/000358451)

Downloaded by: UCLA Biomedical Library - 4/30/2014 11:35:23 AM

quirements in preterm infants into the practical world of neonatology, and in particular for the developing preterm infant. It is particularly exciting today, in view of the rapid worldwide development of neonatology, that many more preterm infants are now surviving, and therefore their nutrition becomes of primary importance, rather than just the acute resuscitative efforts around the time of delivery or the first few days of life. It was apparent throughout the various iterations that there was an enthusiastic team spirit during the key authors’ meeting, with authors encouraged to have a major focus to provide coherence in recommendations and development of reasonable consensus. This focus has resulted in the book’s now established practical utility for practicing neonatologists, nutritionists, and nurses in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) all over the world. Our rather unique involvement of industry was clearly a win-win situation for all concerned, because while NICU staff needed practical information to manage their infants, certainly many in the nutrition industry also needed accurate and scientific information to produce the best products possible for the infant. Indeed, their resources were extremely helpful in assembling the group of authors together, a rather novel approach at the time to produce a book, and they were particularly helpful in distributing books to various NICUs, often globally, so that the information arrived literally in the hands of NICU staff for immediate application. Academicians like myself tend to not like to be ‘pinned down’ about the ‘bottom line number’ that is being recommended, and we tend to give ‘academic answers’ because of the lack of absolute certainty on many issues. However the practicing medical personnel need very practical conclusions to scientific deliberations; they face a baby that needs care, all theories aside. This interaction with industry basically also helped academicians to confront the realities of ‘life in the real world’. A few stories illustrate the progress over the years; one more interesting episode involved an investigator who required the editor to fly across the Atlantic to sit down for one whole day to finish a manuscript that was holding up the book; Alan Lucas’ creative involvement of Princess Anne in one of the iterations provided some royal glamour (Princess Anne, Buckingham Palace, wrote: ‘The whole process must be highly unusual, if not unique, in medical writing, was conducted with good grace and remarkably little acrimony; having meetings in exotic places like Captiva Island, FL, where authors were literally held ‘‘captive’’ on the premises, with no chance of enjoying the beautiful scenery because of the intensity of the work; the most recent book translated into Chinese [6], and even counterfeited – a sure sign of ‘‘recognition of its importance’’ apparently’). It is with great memories that I see the launch of the new book ‘Nutritional Care of Premature Infants’, and I wish all the authors and the readership to maximally utilize and ‘dog-ear’ this book from cover to cover, for the care of our precious charges.

References 4 Tsang RC, Nichols B, Zlotkin S, Hansen J: Nutrition during Infancy, p. v. Cincinnati, Digital Educational Publishing, Inc, 1997. 5 Tsang RC, Uauy R, Koletzko B, Zlotkin S (eds): Nutrition of the Pre-Term Infant: Scientific basis and practical guidelines, p. iii. Cincinnati, Digital Educational Publishing, Inc, 2005.

Reginald C. Tsang 3333 Burnet Ave Cincinnati, OH 45229 (USA) E-Mail [email protected]

Historical Perspective

Koletzko B, Poindexter B, Uauy R (eds): Nutritional Care of Preterm Infants: Scientific Basis and Practical Guidelines. World Rev Nutr Diet. Basel, Karger, 2014, vol 110, pp 1–3 (DOI: 10.1159/000358451)


Downloaded by: UCLA Biomedical Library - 4/30/2014 11:35:23 AM

1 Tsang RC (ed): Vitamin and Mineral Requirements in Preterm Infants. New York, Dekker, 1985. 2 Specker BL, Greer F, Tsang RC: Vitamin D; in Tsang RC, Nichols BL (eds): Nutrition during Infancy. Philadelphia, Hanley & Belfus, 1988, pp 264–276. 3 Tsang RC: Nutritional needs of the preterm Infant; in Tsang RC, Lucas A, Uauy R, Zlotkin S (eds): Scientific Basis and Practical Guidelines. Pawling/NY, Caduceus Medical Publishers, 1993.

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