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:
“Pediatric surgeon Musemeche vividly brings to life the evolution of trauma care: “a world of its own” focused on the 2.8 million people hospitalized annually with severe injuries. The fast-paced development of this field of medicine, fueled by a startling 1966 report on accidental death and disabilities, has been driven by such little-known but groundbreaking pioneers as epidemiologist Sue Baker, whose 1984 publication of the Injury Fact Book documented the “magnitude of the injury threat to public safety”; Phil Hallen, who created the blueprint for a trained ambulance service; R. Adams Cowley, whose understanding of the life-or-death first “golden hour” after injury led to the creation of specialized trauma-care units; Charles Drew, whose blood-banking system helped “change the course of history”; and the military surgeons in Iraq who both advanced the treatment of gunshot victims and scientific understanding of the brain’s ability to heal. 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.” —Publishers Weekly
CATHERINE MUSEMECHE, MD is a pediatric surgeon and former professor of surgery at the University of Texas Medical School. She is the author of Small: Life and Death on the Front Lines of Pediatric Surgery.