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Intensive Care: a Doctor's Journal

by Murray, John F.

  • ISBN: 9780520220898
  • ISBN10: 0520220897

Intensive Care: a Doctor's Journal

by Murray, John F.

  • List Price: $45.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2007
  • ISBN: 9780520220898
  • ISBN10: 0520220897
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Description: Intensive Care is an affecting view from the trenches -- a seasoned doctor's minute-by-minute, day-by-day account of life in the intensive care unit (ICU) of a major inner-city hospital, San Francisco General Hospital. John F. Murray, for many years Chief of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division and a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, escorts readers on his daily ward rounds, introducing them to the desperately ill patients he treats and to the young physicians and medical students who accompany him. Writing with compassion and knowledge accumulated during a long career, Murray presents the true stories of patients with a myriad of disorders: asthma, cardiac failure, gastrointestinal diseases, complications due to AIDS, the effects of drug and alcohol abuse, and emphysema. Readers will come away from this book with a comprehensive understanding of an ICU: its function, who is admitted to it, and how its doctors and nurses make decisions concerning life-threatening medical problems.

Intensive care for critically ill patients is a new but well-established and growing branch of medicine. Since estimates suggest that 15 to 20 percent of all hospitalized patients in the United States are treated in an intensive care or coronary care unit during a hospital stay, it is likely that most readers will be admitted to ICUs themselves or will know someone who has been or will be admitted to one.

In his real-time account of the diagnosis, treatment, and progress of his patients over the course of one month, Murray conveys a wealth of information about disease and medical procedures in succinct and easy-to-understand terms. He also elaborates on the ethical issues thathe confronts on an almost daily basis: the limits of patient autonomy, denial of ICU care, withdrawal of life support, and physician-assisted suicide.

Murray concludes that ICUs are doing their job well, but they could be better, cheaper, and -- most important -- more humane. His chronicle brings substance to a world known to most of us only through the fiction of television.

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