The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care
Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care
Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
Genre: Medicine / Medical History
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
# 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
*Amazon* *Barnes & Noble*
HALL WAYS REVIEW
"The treatment of the severely injured is a world of its own."
What a world it is! As I read Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care, I repeatedly found myself amazed by the plethora of medical luxuries that I take for granted every single day. I found myself further amazed by the history of passionate people who saw tragic, often fatal flaws in the system (or lack of system) and took it upon themselves to make changes. These people fought for funding and for support and for their reputations to not be ruined -- all so that victims of traumatic injuries could not just survive but thrive. There literally are scores of people whose names most of us wouldn't recognize, but they are pioneers whose work resulted in our modern emergency rooms, world-wide accepted procedures for first-responders, mobile medical care, blood banks, rehabilitation centers; the list goes on and on. (Side note: Sue Baker is my new heroine -- read about her and how what she has been doing since 1972 affects you every day of your life.)
And let's talk about trauma injuries. Author Catherine Musemeche, M.D. talks about the injuries sustained by everything from the "new" Springfield .58 caliber rifle introduced to war in 1861, to a freak accidents resulting in hemipelvectomy*, to PTSD induced by time spent in intensive care units - the irony. Musemeche tells case stories that read like page turning fiction, then she leaves readers hanging while she describes the medical side and challenges of treatment for that particular injury, and then gives the resolution to the patients' traumas. (*Side note #2 -- I learned a lot of new words for things I didn't even know existed. Look this one up if you have a strong stomach.)
What is fascinating to me and again, something I never considered before reading the book, is how treating those injured in wars -- from Civil through Afghanistan - provides the most critical learning experiences for those in the medical field. There are many examples of major advances happening as a result of medical personnel having to deal with soldiers and the unique injuries of war, that happen in inhospitable, unsanitary, and often remote places. For example, in the trench warfare of World War I, doctors were dealing with epidemics of disease and more head and neck injuries than ever before because of soldiers being shot as they peeked out of the trenches. New injuries called for new responses and procedures to be put in place as priorities shifted for what to treat first.
The sheer amount of information in this book is mind boggling; my copy is littered with sticky-note tabs. Dr. Musemeche manages to inform without overloading, and readers can be confident they are getting good information given the 419 citations provided in the back of the book. And if your sticky notes fall off, there's also a handy index if you want to go back and find out, for example, how much the world's first "portable" defibrillator weighed (155 lbs!).
I highly recommend this book to both people in the medical world (I recommended it to my dentist today!) and those of us who aren't because it truly changes the reader's perspective. We all could use a healthy dose of gratitude, and reading Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care will make you grateful for the many comforts and conveniences we enjoy. We've come a long way, baby.
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.
Check out the other great blogs on the tour!
Guest Post #1
Author Interview #1
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Author Interview #2
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