Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century
Drawing on his own experience as an anesthesiologist, intensive care expert, and NASA adviser, Dr. Kevin Fong examines how cuttingedge medicine pushes the envelope of human survival by studying the human body s response when tested by physical extremes."Extreme Medicine"explores different limits of endurance and the lens each offers on one of the systems of the body. The challenges of Arctic exploration created opportunities for breakthroughs in open heart surgery; battlefield doctors pioneered techniques for skin grafts, heart surgery, and trauma care; underwater and outer space exploration have revolutionized our understanding of breathing, gravity, and much more. Avant-garde medicine is fundamentally changing our ideas about the nature of life and death.
Through astonishing accounts of extraordinary events and pioneering medicine, Fong illustrates the sheer audacity of medical practice at extreme limits, where human life is balanced on a knife s edge."Extreme Medicine"is a gripping debut about the science of healing, but also about exploration in its broadest sense and about how, by probing the very limits of our biology, we may ultimately return with a better appreciation of how our bodies work, of what life is, and what it means to be human."
"The Washington Post" "Every chapter combines personal stories, dramatic medical history and clear, vivid science writing...Fong's book presents daring moments in medicine along with lucid explanations of human physiology and of how medical professionals manage to keep people alive or pull them back from the brink. It should appeal to would-be astronauts, outdoor-lovers, mountain climbers, free-divers, armchair explorers, science enthusiasts, those working in the health professions or wondering about such a career--indeed, just about anyone with a heartbeat and a dash of curiosity." "The Wall Street Journal" "In "Extreme Medicine," physician Kevin Fong reminds us that virtually everything we take for granted in lifesaving medical intervention was once unthinkable... Dr. Fong's engaging and fast-paced narrative is liberally sprinkled with his own harrowing experiences as a specialist in anesthesia and intensive-care." "Discover" "[Fong] weaves first hand, nail-biting ER experiences with gripping historical narrative as he recounts 100 years of breakthroughs...[Fong] looks forward as well: He offers tantalizing ideas about surviving long-term space travel and other possibilities that await us in our relentless quest to explore." "Mother Jones" "With clear, evocative prose, he takes readers to ocean depths and mountaintops, and also deep within our bodies, in this entertaining exploration of human limits." "Kirkus Reviews" (starred): " ""A medical thriller of the first order." "Publishers Weekly" "[An] eloquent history of how 20th-century science and medicine moved us toward 'improved survival'--and with it a better understanding of life and death...these are thrilling stories that describe the limits of human psychology."" " Atul Gawande, surgeon and author of "Complications," "Better," and "The Checklist Manifesto" "In "Extreme Medicine," the ever-intrepid Kevin Fong reveals the fascinating link between geographical exploration and medical innovation, with stories that are as strange and intriguing as they are illuminating."" " Professor Brian Cox, author of "The Quantum Universe" "It would be hard to find anyone better qualified to write a book on the limits of human physiology than Dr Kevin Fong. His experiences in human spaceflight at NASA, in frontline medicine, and his deep scientific knowledge, shine through. If you want to know what the human body can take, and why we must continue to push ourselves beyond the limit in the name of exploration, then read this book." "The Observer" (UK):
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