The premise of extreme medicine is that medical practices being used today can be traced to something in the past. There is a story of Robert Scott who died hypothermia exploring Antarctica in 1912. His death has lead to innovations in the treatment of hypothermia. It is now possible to warm up a person's cold blood and reinsert it back into their body to save their life. It is also possible to cool a person's body so that a blood vessel in the heart can be repaired. The development of what how to directly treat victims of trauma started in the late seventies because of the airplane crash. I did not know that trauma procedures were relatively new/ Not every chapter in this book follows this linear fashion, but I did enjoy reading this book nonetheless.
There is a story about a young man who suffered disfigurement because of an electrical burn. He received a face transplant. I have never heard of a person getting a face transplant before. I learned that a person's immune system can reject the transplanted face. This is similar to how a body can reject an organ like a lung or kidney. This is all fascinating information to learn. Kevin Fong is a doctor, but he also has a degree in astrophysics. He briefly worked for NASA. and includes his thoughts about being in orbit. I learned that it is possible to give chest compressions using my feet for a person who is in cardiac arrest in outer space. Fong does not include a photo of this, but I believe that it can be done.
The photos in this book are fun to look at. There is a photo of an ice cave in Antarctica. There is also a photo of Fong floating inside a space capsule called the vomit comet. There is another photo of him scuba diving in the Red Sea. His bravery and his sense of adventure is shown in these pictures.
Fong includes a chapter about his thoughts about the planet Mars. He believes that will be possible to travel to Mars once we have better anti gravity and technology to handle the radiation on Mars. The distance between Earth and Mars is always changing, so it is important to time our planetary exploration just right to accomplish what needs to be done there.
Kevin Fong includes the stories of some remarkable people. I learned that Soyeon Yi became the first female astronaut from South Korea. She guided a capsule into space and guided it back to earth. I am inspired by the story of James Hudson. He had very little formal education, but he became a dental apprentice and dental surgeon. He remained mentally sharp throughout his life and lived until the age of 103. I could not put this book down until I finished it.
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