Five Patients, the Hospital Explained by Michael Crichton (1970)

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Five Patients, the Hospital Explained
by Michael Crichton

Publisher:  Alfred A. Knopf
Copyright:  1970

Book Club Edition

Five patients, five actual cases of men and women in urgent need of medical help rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital in the past year --

To witness their treatment, to see how hospital practice is changing in the age of the science-technology explosion, the reader is taken into Mass. General, into the receiving room, into the emergency ward, into the operating theater, on surgical rounds, into private rooms and wards, as every kind of diagnostic or therapeutic equipment is put into action, as residents, interns, and senior staff diagnose, consult with each other, prescribe, and treat the cases of:

Ralph Orlando, rushed into emergency after a construction accident; his heart has stopped beating;

John O'Connor, brought in at the point of death (fever 108 degrees) from unknown causes;

Peter Luchesi, whose nearly severed hand is reattached by a team of surgeons in a six-hour operation;

Sylvia Thompson, whose sudden illness on a Boston-bound plane was diagnosed over closed-circuit TV in the hospital's Logan Airport Medical Station;

Edith Murphy, the diagnosing of whose rare disease, lupus erythematosus, demonstrates the benefits of being a patient in a teaching hospital -- and the drawbacks.

To give the layman this unique inside look at modern hospital practice, the twenty-seven-year-old author of The Andromeda Strain (he received his M.D. one month after Andromeda was published) draws on the immediacy of his own experience through four years at Harvard Medical School and Mass. General.  As Crichton reconstructs in detail the experience of the five patients, as he looks back into the hospital of yesterday and forward into new possibilities of care and cure, the reader gains an extraordinary understanding of modern medical practice, of hospital life and problems, of the hospital staff and its responsibilities, of the way medical students function and are taught in the hospital, of why costs are skyrocketing, of what lies ahead.

Five Patients is Michael Crichton's first work of nonfiction.  In it, that incredibly complex and rapidly changing organism, The Hospital, is explained -- with the same incisive, understandable, concreteness that made the inner workings of our space-biological program real and clear in The Andromeda Strain.

Condition:  Used.  Hardcover.  Dust cover is discolored and shows shelf wear, creases and water spots on the front and back dust cover flap and the top edge of the pages and back endpaper.  Previous owner's name and date are written on the front endpaper.  Binding is beginning to split, but pages are so far in tact.


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    • ISBN 0394425081
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