MATTER OF THE HEART

Book number: 90375 Product format: Hardback Author: THOMAS MORRIS
Sub-titled 'A History of the Heart In Eleven Operations' here is the cut and thrust of cardiac surgery demystified lest we forget that venturing into the thoracic cavity was once so daunting. For thousands of years, the human heart remained a deep mystery to medical science. Even as surgery made tremendous strides thanks to the progress of anesthesia and antisepsis, this one organ seemed untouchable. Then in the late 19th century, medics began going where no one had dared and the following decade saw the secrets of the heart exposed. Through the stories of 11 landmark operations, Thomas Morris shows the astounding achievements made by cardiac surgeons and the committed bravery, occasional arrogance, jealous rivalry, and incredible ingenuity they displayed in order to do the job. In the two pages before the Introduction are two stunning line drawings of the heart and its blood vessels and the interior structure with its parts named. It is easily forgotten that just 50 years ago heart surgeons were the most glamorous and best paid professionals in the world photographed with royalty and film stars in an almost exclusively male club. Today there are close to 50 centres of cardiac surgery in the UK alone and every developed nation has hundreds or even thousands of highly trained surgeons. Although the body count in this story is high, it is also full of unexpected recoveries, exhilarating moments of discovery, and celebrations of human ingenuity, those who held the surgical instruments are the heroes and heroines but also the armies of nurses, physiologists, engineers, biochemists and inventors who made this work possible and of course the many patients and their families who willingly allowed their bodies to be used as glorified laboratory specimens. Chapters include Blue Babies, Ice Baths and Monkey Lungs, Rubber Balls and Pig Valves, Metronomes and Nuclear Reactors, Clinical Trial by Media, Fantastic Voyage and I, Robot (Surgeon). 414pp, eight pages of photos the last of which is where the surgeon sits at a console controlling plastic-covered robotic arms.
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Bibliophile price: £2.50

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ISBN 9781250117168
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