*I received a free ARC of this book, with thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Critical is an intelligent, compelling and profoundly insightful journey into the world of intensive care medicine and the lives of people who have forever been changed by it.
Being critically ill means one or more of your vital organs have failed – this could be your lungs, your heart, your kidneys, gut or even your brain. Starting with the first recognised case in which a little girl was saved by intensive care in 1952 in Copenhagen, Matt writes brilliantly about the fascinating history, practices and technology in this newest of all the major medical specialties. Matt guides us around the ICU by guiding us around the body and the different organs, and in this way, we learn not only the stories of many of the patients he’s treated over the years, but also about the various functions different parts of the body.
He draws on his time spent with real patients, on the brink of death, and explains how he and his colleagues fight against the odds to help them live. Happily many of his cases have happy endings, but Matt also writes movingly about those cases which will always remain with him – the cases where the mysteries of the body proved too hard to solve, or diagnoses came too late or made no difference to the outcome.
Critical is a serious scholarly examination of the role of the Intensive Care unit and its dedicated staff: historical, current and future.
Laid out in chapters corresponding to the parts of the body that may see you land under his critical care, Dr Morgan carefully and accessibly explains the history behind intensive care practices and procedures and uses anecdotes from his own experiences to illustrate how such care ‘works’ currently.
Not only did I learn a lot about Intensive Care and the staff that work there, but Dr Morgan’s passion for the work and his determination to provide the very best care for his patients (in whichever individual way may be most appropriate) was inspiring. His personal care and emotional investment permeated the writing and created a reassurance that no matter how busy the hospital, the patients are more than just numbers and diagnoses.
Critical is a fascinating window into the frontline work of saving lives, and a moral exploration of when and whether we always should. This is perfect for anyone who has an interest in medical memoirs, and as an added bonus you will find some life-saving tips included, such as how to effectively perform CPR, because Dr Morgan can never pass up a chance to save a potential patient!
You are my past patient, my future patient, the son, daughter, father, mother or neighbour of my current patient. Although one in five of you will eventually die in an intensive care unit, many of you won’t even know what that is.
– Dr Matt Morgan, Critical
Critical is available on Amazon right now!