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Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

Rating Star 4 / 4 - 5 ( 4281)
Book Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery.pdf


Original name book: Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery

Pages: Unknown

Language: English

Publisher: HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books


Book details

Format *An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose. *Report a Broken Link

Required Software Any PDF Reader, Apple Preview
Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
# of Devices Unlimited
Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Category - Medical Books

Bestsellers rank - 6 Rating Star

With compassion and candor, leading neurosurgeon Henry Marsh reveals the fierce joy of operating, the profoundly moving triumphs, the harrowing disasters, the haunting regrets, and the moments of black humor that characterize a brain surgeon's life. If you believe that brain surgery is a precise and exquisite craft practiced by calm and detached surgeons, this gripping, brutally honest account will make you think again.

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Customer Reviews
  • By BrianB on March 24, 2015

    This book is well written, gripping, and fascinating. Sometimes it is sad or gruesome. It is accurate in the descriptions of medical details, surgical procedures, and the life of brain surgeons. If you like to think of your physician as a demi-god you should not read this book. If you can handle the truth, read on.As an anesthesiologist, I read with a mix of amusement and rueful resignation. Dr. Marsh is a true representative of his species, the neurosurgeon. They are by turns kind, irritating, cocky, courageous, arrogant, brilliant, obsessive, awe-inspiring, and lonely. They usually graduated at the top of their medical school class. Their residency did not end until they were well into their 30’s. Many hospitals have lots of pediatricians, intensivists, internists, and hospitalists, but they only have one neurosurgeon. Even in a field of doctors, a collection of brainy nerds, they stand alone.Their arrogance is undeniable. Henry Marsh relates how he was stuck in a line of shoppers at the grocery store and thinks with irritation that none of them could do what he just did today, so why does he have to wait behind them? Like fighter pilots or Special Forces, society is not comfortable with such people, but when we need them, we need them desperately. And we always need them.There is a moment before every invasive medical procedure when you could pause and contemplate the enormous consequences of failure. If you spend too much time doing that, you will end up paralyzed, and the patient will suffer. If you spend too much time thinking about the appalling human carnage that will result from surgery gone wrong, you will never take up the knife. No matter how skillful, knowledgeable, and careful you are, there will be carnage. No one knows this better than the neurosurgeon. To cut into a human brain takes enormous hubris. Every procedure includes the risk of death, but there are worse things than death. Most doctors will see worse-than-death only rarely during their career, but the neurosurgeon sees it often. It is the nature of their specialty. It is beyond extreme. For example, I induce a death-like coma in my patients daily, then rescue them from it. Yet I could not abide such a life of enormous risk.Dr. Marsh is a writer of depth and skill. He probably does everything well, if he does it at all. If you think that neurosurgery is fascinating, you should read this book.

  • By E. Redifer on November 30, 2016

    I'm not a doctor or have any medical training, but I thought this book was thoroughly fascinating. It's a realistic look at medical treatment from a surgeon's eyes.The book is a catalog of the various brain and spine ailments and their treatment with surgery. That sounds like it might be sterile, but it's anything but. Each chapter starts with a new brain or spine problem. Dr. Marsh tells about the patient's fears and emotions about their illness and the decision to have surgery, but more importantly, he describes his own challenges, fears and emotions around treating the patient. Then he describes performing the surgery in sort of a play by play fashion. Finally he tells the outcome - is the surgery a success and the doctor a miracle worker, or is the patient left "wrecked" - a term the Dr. uses to describe someone who has lost major function.Along the way, he sprinkles in personal anecdotes - he falls down the stairs, breaks his leg and becomes a patient himself, he has to consult on a patient in a nursing home full of "vegetables" (my term, hope that is not offensive) and as he walks down the hall he is horrified to realize several of the folks there have been his patients.As I was reading it, I was thinking back to many folks I've known who've had the various problems being treated by the doctor in the book and his colleagues. I wondered if the knowledge here would have been beneficial or would have given them fear. Most people understand that brain issues are serious, but I got a new appreciation for how much your life is literally in the hands of the surgeon when you have brain surgery.Heads up for American readers - Dr. Marsh is British, so some of the terminology is different - an operating room is a theater; there's quite a few references to the government medical system, some of which I didn't understand.Highly recommended

  • By Rick S on January 3, 2016

    I picked up this book on the basis of a brief review by a blogger I follow. This sort of read isn't my normal fare, but the subject was interesting, and as I got into the book, the narrative was quite engaging. Like anyone in their fifties, most of us have a fair bit of experience as a consumer of medical services, and I started the book with a certain level of smug understanding of what I might expect of a physicians narrative of his work. After finishing the book, I would like to believe that I learned quite a bit of the human element of practicing in this particular specialty of medicine. The word profound comes to mind when I try to express my personal reaction to the book, but in a way this sounds a bit dramatic. Without knowing who might be reading this review, it is hard to pass along a recommendation, but I will do so anyway. I very much enjoyed Mr Marsh's writing style, the way the subject was presented, and found the topic and narrative both very engaging and at times, intense to the point I had to put the book down and come back to it the next day. If you have the stomach for the subject, this is one book you would not willingly miss reading. I found myself spending time after having read it, learning about Mr Marsh, about his work, and viewing some of his interviews available on Youtube. Seems very much like a fellow I would like to have known personally.

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