Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in by Kevin Fong M.D.

By Kevin Fong M.D.

Little multiple hundred years in the past, maps of the area nonetheless boasted white house: areas the place no human had ever trod. inside of a couple of brief a long time the main adversarial of the world’s environments had all been conquered. Likewise, within the 20th century, medication reworked human existence. medical professionals took what used to be many times deadly and made it survivable. As modernity introduced us ever extra into other kinds of extremis, medical professionals driven the limits of clinical advances and human patience. severe exploration challenged the physique in ways in which merely the leading edge of technological know-how may solution. medical professionals, scientists, and explorers all proportion a defining trait: they push on within the face of grim odds. due to their severe exploration we not just comprehend our body structure greater; we've additionally made huge, immense strides within the technological know-how of healing.

Drawing on his personal adventure as an anesthesiologist, in depth care professional, and NASA adviser, Dr. Kevin Fong examines how cuttingedge medication pushes the envelope of human survival through learning the human body’s reaction whilst proven by means of actual extremes. Extreme Medicine explores diverse limits of patience and the lens every one deals on one of many platforms of the physique. The demanding situations of Arctic exploration created possibilities for breakthroughs in open center surgical procedure; battlefield medical professionals pioneered recommendations for epidermis grafts, middle surgical procedure, and trauma care; underwater and outer area exploration have revolutionized our knowing of respiring, gravity, and lots more and plenty extra. Avant-garde drugs is essentially altering our rules in regards to the nature of lifestyles and death.

Through stunning bills of amazing occasions and pioneering medication, Fong illustrates the sheer audacity of clinical perform at severe limits, the place human existence is balanced on a knife’s edge. Extreme Medicine is a gripping debut in regards to the technological know-how of therapeutic, but in addition approximately exploration in its broadest sense—and approximately how, through probing the very limits of our biology, we could eventually go back with a greater appreciation of ways bodies paintings, of what existence is, and what it skill to be human.

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His engines can generate only so much lift. The more weight we have to carry, the shorter the range of the helicopter and the more hazardous the takeoff. ” he asks. “All of it,” I repeat. More air-sucking sounds. ” he asks, looking me up and down. “About 155 pounds,” I tell him. ” he says, nodding indelicately at the nurse. The man in the bed before us was caught in a house fire and is badly burned. The trauma team estimates that perhaps the full thickness of skin over as much as 50 percent of his body has been destroyed by fire, though it’s hard to be sure.

Those tiny, all-important sacs—which allow air to be brought into contact with blood and oxygen to be exchanged for carbon dioxide—are becoming waterlogged. Things will get worse before they get better. We must move now. Tomorrow he may be too sick. But the closest specialist bed is more than two hundred miles away, too far for a safe road transfer. We’ll need an aircraft. That’s why the helicopter pilot is here, still doing sums in his head, weighing benefit against risk, as the patient slowly drowns in his own juices.

The stuff at the top is dead, a keratinized layer that serves the purpose of physical protection. Below that layer is living, moist tissue that needs nutrients and a blood supply and is vulnerable to attack and injury. If you take a microfine slice vertically through skin and examine it under a microscope, you can see the cellular structure of its layers. The specimens must be stained, otherwise the cells are largely clear and colorless. This is histology, the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues.

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