Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care by Catherine Musemeche, M.D. - Excerpt

HURT The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care by Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
Genre: Medicine / Medical History
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: ForeEdge
# of pages: 268

The heroic story of the invention of trauma care, from
battlefield triage to level 1 trauma centers

Trauma is a disease of epidemic proportions that preys on the young, killing more Americans up to age thirty-seven than all other afflictions combined. Every year an estimated 2.8 million people are hospitalized for injuries and more than 180,000 people die.

We take for granted that no matter how or where we are injured, someone will call 911 and trained first responders will show up to insert IVs, stop the bleeding, and swiftly deliver us to a hospital staffed by doctors and nurses with the expertise necessary to save our lives. None of this happened on its own.

Told through the eyes of a surgeon who has flown on rescue helicopters, resuscitated patients in trauma centers in Houston and Chicago, and operated on hundreds of trauma victims of all ages, Hurt takes us on a tour of the advancements in injury treatment from the battlefields of the Civil War to the state-of-the-art trauma centers of today.

"Musemeche’s fast-paced medical history mixes the gritty reality of treating life-threatening injuries—including her own heart-pounding experiences as surgeon—with an unfettered optimism about what trauma care can now promise: an assurance that most people will survive even a devastating injury.” —Publishers Weekly

“Hurt is a fascinating journey through the history of trauma care in this country. Musemeche's unique ability to weave moving, personal stories with intriguing facts takes this book well beyond a great read. It is an education in the human spirit.” —Paul Ruggieri, MD, author of Confessions of a Surgeon and The Cost of Cutting

Excerpt from Hurt
Chapter One: Along for the Ride, Part 1

By the time we’d arranged to transfer Mr. X to a larger nearby hospital, his wife had already died in our emergency room.
Mr. X’s stretcher had come banging through the steel double doors first, brought in by ambulance after a train had hit their stalled car. He was propped up in a sitting position and breathing in deeply, as though he couldn’t get enough air. Blood was streaked across his face like war paint, and he was groaning loudly.
“Ambulance!” I called down the hall to the charge nurse.
Jenkins, a blur of white streaking around the corner of the tiled hallway, grabbed the foot of the stretcher and led it to our largest room, where we put on casts. It wasn’t called a trauma room, but it was understood that if a lot of people needed to crowd in, along with an X-ray machine the size of an oven, that was the only room that would allow it.
“Go get the doctor,” Nurse Jenkins said as she grabbed the oxygen mask off the wall and slapped on the EKG leads.
I found Dr. Sanchez in an exam room. “Room 1,” I said. “Nurse Jenkins needs you right away.”
It was 1976, the summer after my first year of college. Each day I put on my short white coat, name badge, and stethoscope and drove my maroon Ford Pinto to a fifty-bed community hospital in Orange, Texas. I worked at the triage desk, the front lines. Mine was the first set of eyes on patients when they came through the door. I wrote down their complaints, counted their respirations, and took their pulse and blood pressure.
Every day brought new revelations.

I unwrapped blood-soaked dishtowels concealing lacerations of all depths and dimensions on hands and feet. I would lift them gingerly out of their swaddling cocoons and dunk them in stain- less steel pans of dilute Betadine. I guided teenagers doubled over by appendicitis to stretchers, helped them get up, and left them with a pink plastic basin to throw up in. I wheeled middle- aged men down the hall for EKGs while they clutched their sweaty chests and called out for their wives.
A continuous stream of people came through those doors, a cross-section of our town—poor, middle class, the rare well- dressed businessman, all shades of skin tone and demeanor. Everyone that passed through that dimly lit hallway was seeking relief from disease, injury, and worry, and most of them found it.
But not all.
There were those we couldn’t fix, like the drunk twenty-year- old who dove headfirst into shallow water, severing his spinal cord when his head plowed into the sandy bottom. He was still smiling and flirting when he arrived, intoxicated and unaware that he would never again move his legs. As the gravity of his injury unfolded, he sobered up. Maybe it was our faces that gave it away. No one ever said, “This is it. You’ll never party at Cow Creek again.” But that’s exactly what everyone was thinking.
Chapter one continued on the 10/6/2016 stop of the blog tour. . .

            Dr. Catherine Musemeche is a pediatric surgeon, attorney and author who lives in Austin, Texas. She was born and raised in Orange, Texas and attended Lutcher Stark High School. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, The Anderson School of Management in Albuquerque, New Mexico and The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. Dr. Musemeche is a former surgery professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, the MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute and the University of New Mexico where she was the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Trauma. She currently works in the field of regulatory medicine.
             In addition to publishing extensively in the medical literature, Dr. Musemeche has been a guest contributor to the New York Times. Her writing has also been published on,, in the anthology At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die and in the Journal of Creative Nonfiction.  Her first book, Small: Life and Death on the Front Lines of Pediatric Surgery was nominated for the Pen American/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award and was awarded the Writer’s League of Texas Discovery Prize for nonfiction. Her second book, Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care will be published in September of this year.
Check out the other great blogs on the tour! 

Guest Post #1
Excerpt #1
Author Interview #1
Guest Post #2
Excerpt #2
Author Interview #2
Guest Post #3

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