Burn Unit: Saving Lives After The Flames

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9780306813467: Burn Unit: Saving Lives After The Flames
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As a scourge, fire knows no equal. Medical science may have conquered polio and may one day cure cancer, but fire and the injury it brings will always be with us. Indeed, heat inflicts a wound that ignites a terrible conflict within the body, transforming it into a raging machine intent on consuming itself. The specialized care burn patients require begins at the ER door and continues for weeks, months, and even years; burn treatment as it is practiced today gives new meaning to the term intensive care.Though each of us is just a spark away from being a burn victim, the public knows little and understands less about the world that patients inhabit. Pulling the curtains back on this private and sterile environment, Burn Unit is a riveting account of the frontline efforts--both modern-day and historical--to save lives devastated by fire. With unflinching urgency, Barbara Ravage follows an extraordinary team of healers at Massachusetts General Hospital, the cradle of modern burn treatment and the site of one of the best burn units in the world. From Boston's Cocoanut Grove fire of 1942 to the treatment of the victims of the Rhode Island nightclub fire in early 2003, we watch everyday heroes do their incredible but punishing work against the backdrop of history. Both a moving human drama and an engrossing scientific exploration of this little-known field of medicine, Burn Unit is an unforgettably powerful read.

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About the Author:

The author of six books, Barbara Ravage is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. She lives on Cape Cod.

From The New England Journal of Medicine:

Burn Unit is a well-written, ingenious book on the cause of burns and the pathophysiology and clinical course of patients who have sustained severe burn injury. The author describes the "burn disease" through the clinical care of two patients: one had a rather small, partial-thickness injury of 10 percent of the body that involved the face and hands, and the other had a moderately severe burn of 35 percent and required skin grafting of the face and upper extremities. Each chapter describes the clinical care of the two patients and includes the thoughts and concerns of family members as well as those of the members of the burn team. These personal aspects are preceded or followed by detailed and accurate descriptions of the history and pathophysiology of resuscitation after burn shock, infection, wound healing, and other topics. These sections are written informally, but the details are accurate, informative, and enjoyable to read, and they flow smoothly from the care of the two patients to the science of burn disease. Although Burn Unit describes care at the Burn and Trauma Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, the author repeatedly describes the controversies associated with the management of the burn injuries and the alternatives to the treatment that each patient received. This is not a "burn survivor" book but, rather, a well-written textbook on burn injuries. Because the information is presented in an understandable, detailed way, it would be well worth reading not only by all members of a burn team but also by burn victims and their families. The history of burns, as presented here, is remarkably detailed and comprehensive, and this alone makes the book worth reading. Essentially, Burn Unit is a textbook written from the perspectives of the patient, the family, and the members of the burn team. It should become required reading for new as well as experienced burn specialists. Glenn D. Warden, M.D.
Copyright © 2005 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The New England Journal of Medicine is a registered trademark of the MMS.

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9780306814198: Burn Unit: Saving Lives After the Flames

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ISBN 10:  0306814196 ISBN 13:  9780306814198
Publisher: Da Capo Press, 2005
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