Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Do No Harm.


                              
                                                 

If you've ever imagined yourself becoming a brain surgeon, delving into the spongy grey matter that really should never be seen, knowing that the tiniest of mistakes could be fatal, then this is the book for you.

Henry Marsh guides us through the most intimate details of operating on Aneurysms, Haemangioblastomas, Medulloblastomas, Carcinomas, Oligodendrogliomas, and other unpronounceable cerebral ailments.

The book is both amusing and informative. It gives an unusual insight into the secretive world of the most delicate surgical procedures. It shows his compassion for every single patient who subject themselves to his genius. It also demonstrates his humanity in the face of the most difficult of decisions.

Blood and guts is not my usual preferred reading, but I find this fascinating.  Looking for your next 'good read'? Try Henry Marsh's 'Do No Harm'.



22 comments:

  1. Mmmmmm ….. considering my husband had a brain haemorrhage last March, I don't think that ' Do No Harm ' will be top of my reading list Cro …… I'll stick to lighter reading for a while !!!!
    PS: My husband is recovering well { no physical after effects ,,,, just needs a bit of physio } XXXX

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    1. Sounds like one to avoid, in that case. I hope he's doing OK, these surgeons are amazing.

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  2. Doesn't quite sound like bedtime reading. I am enjoying a new " Linwood Barclay" at the moment…it rattles along very nicely!

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  3. Funnily enough, G.B. is one of the few places in the world in which doctors are not required to take the Hippocratic Oath.

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    1. Really? I thought it was obligatory.

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    2. If Hippocrates doesn't get 'em the law will.

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  4. Personally I'd rather not know these things. I think we are bombarded with so much info on health these days that it is actally making people sick. I hear people talking about illness everywhere I go. I always remember the saying, "A mans life is what his thoughts make of it! and it can't be good always thinking about illness can it.
    Saying that, everyone is different and if you are enjoying it, carry on Cro.
    Briony
    x

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    1. The book is not so much about 'illness' per se, it's more about the approach to the surgery involved. But I agree; not everyone's cup of tea.

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  5. Actually sounds fascinating to me. I need to comprehend basics of physical conditions from which family members suffer so I'm minimally informed when dealing with doctors.
    Neurosurgery is in a class by itself. Book sounds very interesting on many levels. Thank you for sharing it.

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  6. No, I think not Cro, thanks all the same.

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  7. Sounds like something the wife would read, she loves all that hospital blood and guts stuff.

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    1. My wife read it first, and recommended it to me.

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  8. Ironically, Cro, the cardothoracic surgeon who removed my husband's left lung three years ago showed up last Friday at the bookstore where I work, and he was buying that book. He's a wonderful man, a great surgeon who has very kindly stopped in occasionally in the three years since the operation to ask how we're doing ( and to buy books). He said that book sounded very interesting to him!

    I greatly admire people who can handle the responsibility of having others' lives in their hands like that. Even if I had the brains to be a surgeon (I don't), I'd become an emotional wreck under the weight of the responsibility. And neurosurgery would be the worst of all, I think!

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    1. It doesn't exactly sound like a 'best seller', but who knows...

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  9. My husband is in the biz and has dissected one before. They are the consistency of jello. BTW, neurosurgeons go through the longest residency of all specialties and I didn't say this, but nearly all think they are gods. The brain is truly amazing and the frontal lobe, which not as much is known about, is the latest frontier in brain studies. Or, is it the the pre-frontal cortex? I digress. I know very little about it all, just want to keep mine humming along for a few more years.

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  10. I shall buy that book for my sister who has had 2 brain tumour surgeries. One time, they shaved her head and she was on the operating room table (awake still) when they realized they were missing a crucial piece of equipment. She was sent home and re-booked the following week.

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    1. Just looked....not available in Canada until May 2015!

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    2. Being re-scheduled because of something so basic must have been traumatic. It's bad enough building oneself up to it just the once!.

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  11. Brain surgery -somehow, the adjective "amusing" does not come to mind.

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    1. The 'amusing' bits are mostly about his fellow doctors, nurses, etc.

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