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High-profile physician-journalist Gupta—a medical reporter for CNN and columnist forTimewho declined President Obama's nomination to be surgeon general—knows a great story when he hears one, and in this collection he rolls out extraordinarily harrowing and inspiring tales from the annals of they-ought-to-be-dead. When there is an injury, a heart attack or any loss of oxygen to the brain, time is the essential factor in determining whether a patient will live. For instance, therapeutic hypothermia, by reducing the brain's need for oxygen immediately after a trauma, allows more time for treatments to work. Gupta also notes that lives can be saved through incremental changes to current medical techniques rather than revolutionary breakthroughs. Eliminating the breathing component from CPR and concentrating only on chest compressions has been shown to raise heart attack survival rates to an unheard-of 20%. The achievements are stunning, though Gupta notes none of the exciting medical changes that we've come across will eliminate the sense of awe and mystery that stalks our notions of death. Yet it's beyond comforting to know there are doctors who simply refuse to quit a brave but ultimately losing battle to wrestle control over death.(Oct. 12)
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ISBN-10:  044650887X
ISBN-13:  978-0446508872
Author:  Sanjay Gupta
Genre:  Science
Publisher:  Wellness Central
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review by . December 05, 2009
The moments just prior to death may consist of  what is called "the death rattle". This process  is typified by loud bursts, gasps, convulsions  and/or heaving. Some lucky patients have overcome  this sorry state to die another day. The agonal   phase and its aftermath is the subject of intense  debate in the medical community. The debate  concerns the actual time of death and the  appropriate strategies to maintain …
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Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles
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