Burn Unit: Saving Lives After the Flames

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Da Capo Press, Apr 27, 2009 - Science - 320 pages
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“A compelling blend of science, history and storytelling. Barbara Ravage has fashioned an enlightening, invaluable book.” —Stewart O'Nan, author of The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American TragedyThough each of us is just a spark away from being a burn victim, the public knows little and understands less about the world that patients inhabit. Pulling the curtains back on this private and sterile environment, Burn Unit is a riveting account of the frontline efforts—both modern-day and historical—to save lives devastated by fire. With unflinching urgency, Barbara Ravage follows an extraordinary team of healers at Massachusetts General Hospital, the cradle of modern burn treatment and the site of one of the best burn units in the world. From Boston's Cocoanut Grove fire of 1942 to the treatment of the victims of the Rhode Island nightclub fire in early 2003, we watch everyday heroes do their incredible but punishing work against the backdrop of history. Both a moving human drama and an engrossing scientific exploration of this little-known field of medicine, Burn Unit is an unforgettably powerful read.
 

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Contents

A Life on Fire
1
1 Saturday Night at the Cocoanut Grove
3
2 A Riot in the Body
21
3 The General
47
4 The Very Young the Very Old the Drunk and the Stupid
61
5 Bigelow 13
79
6 In the Hyperbaric Chamber
95
7 At the Bedside
109
10 Cutting Off the Dead
167
11 Healing
191
12 New Skin
213
13 Burned to Death
227
14 A New Life
239
Notes
255
Acknowledgments
287
Index
291

8 Gasping for Breath
129
9 The Scourge and the Silver Standard
145

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About the author (2009)

The author of six books, Barbara Ravage is a member of the National Association of Science Writers. She lives on Cape Cod.

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