A real fan of Ruhlman's previous books, I knew that this would make for good reading. Squeemish at times for those of us not use to inside O.R. environments with all the procedures and organs being talked about, this rivets one to pediatric heart surgery.
Fashioned around a premier surgeon at a leading hospital, the reader is taken on a whirlwind of living on the edge of technology and skill and emotions as heart defects are diagnosed during pregnancy while others found at birth and thereafter are the daily routine of this top notch surgical team which Ruhlman lived with and writes about.
One is touched by the intensity of the whole enterprise, the stark reality of it all, day after day, year after year. The enormity of it all. Patching this, switching that, shunting here, stiching this together---all to keep young precious life.
The history of the discipline and current happenings are reviewed, with its emphasis on comparative mortality stats for various surgical procedures. Scary to think one's future might well be determined by where one lives and where taken when heart defects occur.
The precision and dedication of those who live in this arena is beyond most of our scopes to even begin to fathom, but this book seems to take one there in spirit and interest. The compassionate care looms ever large.
Thoughtful, provocative and reflective view of speciality surgery at the leading edge and all the while on edge.