Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century
By Kevin Fong
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."
"Anatomy and physiology are elegantly explained, not as abstract theory, but as counterpoint to gripping stories about survival against the odds. Real stories of life and near-death form the compelling backbone of the book. The book could easily have ended up as a series of Boy's Own tales of derring-do, but Fong elegantly balances heroism with rationalism, courage with compassion, shock with humility and humor." "Guardian" (UK):
"From the outset "Ice and Fire" is a gripping read. It's the kind of book you want to read peeking through cracks in your fingers; you want to look away, but not as much as you want to know what happens... I held my breath, I shed a tear, I laughed out loud, and I struggled to keep my lunch down at various points through this book, and that can only be a good thing." Times Higher Education
"Fong weaves together seemingly unconnected events in this world and beyond in a series of breathless vignettes... an appealing mix of academic eloquence and matey talk: ... In many ways, "Ice and Fire" is the story of the 20th century...We explore because we must, and if you have a sense of adventure and the miracle of life within you, then this book is for you." "Daily Mail"
"Fong has dramatic first-person accounts to give, and many more... he also proves himself to be a genuinely talented author... Fong has come up with an often fascinating and actually rather inspiring account of western medicine's ever-increasing expertise."
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