The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care
Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
Genre: Medicine / Medical History
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Number of pages: 268
The heroic story of the invention of trauma care, from
battlefield triage to level 1 trauma centers
Trauma is a disease of epidemic proportions that preys on the young, killing more Americans up to age thirty-seven than all other afflictions combined. Every year an estimated 2.8 million people are hospitalized for injuries and more than 180,000 people die.
We take for granted that no matter how or where we are injured, someone will call 911 and trained first responders will show up to insert IVs, stop the bleeding, and swiftly deliver us to a hospital staffed by doctors and nurses with the expertise necessary to save our lives. None of this happened on its own.
Told through the eyes of a surgeon who has flown on rescue helicopters, resuscitated patients in trauma centers in Houston and Chicago, and operated on hundreds of trauma victims of all ages, Hurt takes us on a tour of the advancements in injury treatment from the battlefields of the Civil War to the state-of-the-art trauma centers of today.
PRAISE FOR HURT: THE INSPIRING, UNTOLD STORY OF TRAUMA CARE
“Musemeche’s fast-paced medical history mixes the gritty reality of treating life-threatening injuries—including her own heart-pounding experiences as surgeon—with an unfettered optimism about what trauma care can now promise: an assurance that most people will survive even a devastating injury.”
“Hurt is a fascinating journey through the history of trauma care in this country. Musemeche’s unique ability to weave moving, personal stories with intriguing facts takes this book well beyond a great read. It is an education in the human spirit.” —Paul Ruggieri, MD, author of Confessions of a Surgeon and The Cost of Cutting
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Hurt is so much more than the typical non-fictional account of trauma care. Divided into three parts (Transport, Treatment, and Post-Trauma), Hurt is well written and fast paced, covers a lot of historical ground, and shows how that history has shaped so many aspects of the medical industry. I’ve always had a non-professional fascination with healthcare, so reading Hurt has been both entertaining and enlightening. This small book packs in so much information, without getting bogged down in too many details or too much jargon.
The author bookends many of the sections with real-life anecdotes that put the corresponding information into perspective. While several stories involve accidents and misfortunes on the domestic front, the book details many innovative technologies and procedures developed out of necessity during times of war, when so many people are torn apart and ravaged from ever-increasing methods of destruction.
Hurt takes you on a technological and procedural journey that involves hearses commissioned as make-shift ambulances, re-evaluating the steps in trauma care, innovative ways to preserve donated blood for later use, the long-term (and often deadly) effects of shock (I had no idea!), remote trauma care, brain and spinal cord injuries that continue to baffle and devastate, the long-reaching and long-lasting effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, and recognizing and understanding the importance of rehabilitation.
The information in Hurt hammers home how much we often take what we have today for granted: ambulances and trained medical personnel, 911 service, modern and amazing technology that saves and keeps so many alive, safety equipment we use without even thinking about it, and the continued development of prostheses that is making the bionic woman and six million dollar man a reality.
As this book outlines, many medical technologies and procedures that we take for granted did not happen overnight or without push back or even scoffing. Hurt highlights several committed men and women who saw a need and worked (and continue to work) relentlessly to effect change in the world of trauma care that affects all of us.
Dr. Catherine Musemeche is a pediatric surgeon, attorney and author who lives in Austin, Texas. She was born and raised in Orange, Texas and attended Lutcher Stark High School. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, The Anderson School of Management in Albuquerque, New Mexico and The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. Dr. Musemeche is a former surgery professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, the MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute and the University of New Mexico where she was the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Trauma. She currently works in the field of regulatory medicine.
In addition to publishing extensively in the medical literature, Dr. Musemeche has been a guest contributor to the New York Times. Her writing has also been published on NPR.org, KevinMD.com, in the anthology At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die and in the Journal of Creative Nonfiction. Her first book, Small: Life and Death on the Front Lines of Pediatric Surgery was nominated for the Pen American/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award and was awarded the Writer’s League of Texas Discovery Prize for nonfiction. Her second book, Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care will be published in September of this year.
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