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SHOCKTRAUMA by Jon & Alan Doelp Franklin



Pub Date: May 30th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's

A combination of medicine, politics, and voyeurism in a hospital specializing in emergency medicine, the treatment of accidental injuries. ""Shocktrauma"" is the nickname of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services in Baltimore, established and directed by R (no period) Adams Cowley, M.D. Cowley's unorthodox methods of treating shock and trauma and his aggressiveness made him controversial in Baltimore medical circles. Here, his story is interspersed with explanations of various injuries and their treatment and with detailed case histories of accident victims--most of whom die despite the efforts of opinionated surgeons and nurses. The account, however, is quite bland--except for the spice supplied by the journalist authors' sexy descriptions of patients and their care-givers. A surgeon discusses another patient's ""busted tit"" (a broken silicone implant) while waiting for a young boy's heart to stop beating after the respirator has been shut off; on the naked body of a girl with fatal head injuries, we're told, ""there is a small black mole visible on the right hip, a flaw that lies well within the narrow white triangular shadow obviously cast by a bikini bottom."" Strange metaphors also abound, perhaps to add color (a liver has ""the consistency of a warm canteloupe,"" but repairing a liver injury is ""like trying to sew Jello""). Since most of the patients in Shocktrauma were in automobile accidents, the book is a good reminder to fasten one's seatbelt. Otherwise, no redeeming value.