Intensive Care: A Doctor's Journal
Intensive Care is an affecting view from the trenches, a seasoned doctor's minute-by-minute and day-by-day account of life in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a major inner-city hospital, San Francisco General. John F. Murray, for many years Chief of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division of the hospital and a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, takes readers on his daily ward rounds, introducing them to the desperately ill patients he treats as well as to the young physicians and medical students who accompany him. Writing with compassion and knowledge accumulated over a long career, Murray presents the true stories of patients who show up with myriad disorders: asthma, cardiac failure, gastrointestinal diseases, complications due to AIDS, the effects of drug and alcohol abuse, emphysema. Readers will come away from this book with a comprehensive understanding of what an ICU is, what it does, who gets admitted, and how doctors and nurses make decisions concerning life-threatening medical problems.
Intensive care for critically ill patients is a new but well-established and growing branch of medicine. Estimates suggest that 15 to 20 percent of all hospitalized patients in the United States are treated in an intensive or coronary care unit during each hospital stay, so there is a real possibility that the reader will either be admitted to an ICU himself or herself or knows someone who will be. Murray not only offers a real-time account of the diagnosis, treatment, and progress of his patients over the course of one month but also conveys a wealth of information about various diseases and medical procedures in succinct and easy-to-understand terms. In addition, he elaborates on ethical dilemmas that he confronts on an almost daily basis: the extent of patient autonomy, the denial of ICU care, the withdrawal of life support, and physician-assisted suicide.
Murray concludes that ICUs are doing their job, but they could be even better, cheaper, and--most important--more humane. His chronicle brings substance to a world known to most of us only through the fiction of television.
What people are saying - Write a review
Intensive care: a doctor's journalUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Murray (medicine, Univ. of California, San Francisco; coeditor of The Textbook of Respiratory Medicine) takes the reader on his daily rounds at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the San Francisco ... Read full review
Other editions - View all
abdomen abnormalities abscesses admission AIDS alcohol antibiotics arterial asthma bleeding blood pressure bloodstream brain breathing called cannula carinii catheter cause Cesar Fonseca-Santos chest x-ray chest x-ray shows chloroquine chronic obstructive pulmonary Claudia Jonson clinical complications cough CT scan days ago death decide diabetes diagnosis dialysis doctors drugs emergency department endotracheal tube episodes esophagus examination extubated first-year resident fluid Francis Zohman germ heart hematocrit hemorrhage HIV infection hospital housestaff Howard McVicker Ian Trent-Johnson improved intravenous intubated Jim Shotinger keep kidney last night liver Maurice Wolf medical ward medicine month morphine muscle normal nurse oxygen patients percent physicians pneumonia pulmonary edema respiratory failure respiratory therapist right lung says sedation SFGH shock skin sputum started stomach stop surgeons tell tion tracheotomy transferred treatment Truman Caughey tuberculosis uremia urine usual ventilator ward rounds weeks wheezing windpipe worsening yesterday morning