Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Review: Cheating Death by Sanjay Gupta, M.D. (Audiobook)

An unborn baby with a fatal heart defect . . . a skier submerged for an hour in a frozen Norwegian lake . . . a comatose brain surgery patient whom doctors have declared a "vegetable."

Twenty years ago all of them would have been given up for dead, with no realistic hope for survival. But today, thanks to incredible new medical advances, each of these individuals is alive and well . . .Cheating Death.

In this riveting book, Dr. Sanjay Gupta-neurosurgeon, chief medical correspondent for CNN, and bestselling author-chronicles the almost unbelievable science that has made these seemingly miraculous recoveries possible. A bold new breed of doctors has achieved amazing rescues by refusing to accept that any life is irretrievably lost. Extended cardiac arrest, "brain death," not breathing for over an hour-all these conditions used to be considered inevitably fatal, but they no longer are. Today, revolutionary advances are blurring the traditional line between life and death in fascinating ways.

Drawing on real-life stories and using his unprecedented access to the latest medical research, Dr. Gupta dramatically presents exciting accounts of how pioneering physicians and researchers are altering our understanding of how the human body functions when it comes to survival-and why more and more patients who once would have died are now alive. From experiments with therapeutic hypothermia to save comatose stroke or heart attack victims to lifesaving operations in utero to the study of animal hibernation to help wounded soldiers on far-off battlefields, these remarkable case histories transform and enrich all our assumptions about the true nature of death and life.

Received from the publisher for review.

This one gets three stars. Although I'm normally firmly against author read audiobooks, this actually wasn't that bad, perhaps because it was non-fiction. The material was interesting and well presented. The medical terminology was kept to a minimum and the rest of the language wasn't too highbrow for comfortable reading. There were bits where it was a bit long-winded and I was sorely tempted to fast forward, but I persevered and it was worth it. Medical mystery lovers will certainly enjoy these true-life accounts.

★★☆☆ = Liked It


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