Open Heart: A Cardiac Surgeon?s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table by Stephen Westaby

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Read Open Heart: A Cardiac Surgeon?s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table Online Free - One of the world's leading heart surgeons shares the hard-won lessons of a life lived where failure and death are just a heartbeat away

When Stephen Westaby witnessed a patient die on the table during an open heart surgery for the first time, he was struck by the quiet, determined way the surgeons walked away. As he soon understood, this detachment was a crucial survival strategy. In a profession where failure is literally a heartbeat away and the cost of that failure is death, how else could he live with the consequences of his performance? In Open Heart, Westaby reflects on over 11,000 surgeries, showing us why the procedures have never become routine and will never be. With astonishing compassion and candor, Dr. Westaby recounts the fraught and alarming stories from his operating room: we meet a pulseless man who lives with an electric heart pump, an expecting mother who refuses surgery unless the doctors let her pregnancy reach full term, and a baby who gets a transplanted heart-only to die once it's in place. For readers of Atul Gawande and of Henry Marsh's Do No Harm, Open Heart offers unforgettable insight into how to push back death, until nothing is left to do but to accept it.

Title : Open Heart: A Cardiac Surgeon?s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 046509483X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 pages


TL rated it ★★★★☆

September 22, 2017

One of those cases where I was in a funk and just going through OverDrive app, trying to find something different to listen to, that would lift me out of the fog and de-stress me. This one stood out to me, the fact Westaby was from the UK peaked my interest too. I hadn't listened to someone from t...

Mandi rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 11, 2017

This book...ugh. I really wanted to like it and honesty thought I would. I loved When Breath Becomes Air and thought this might be similar. Not so much. The author is a retired heart surgeon in the UK, so a lot of the commentary about their healthcare system (NHS) felt disconnected to me. It was...

Alex rated it ★★☆☆☆

July 14, 2017

Way. Too many. Distracting. Sentence fragments. Not a natural writer. Some interesting anecdotes. Lots of whinging about the British health care system, which had limited relevance to this American reader.

Kay rated it ★★★☆☆

June 03, 2017

While I work in the medical field, this was a hard book to get into. It had a lot of information, and was very wordy. I enjoyed the book, but for the non-medical person, it may be "a lot". I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads but it has no bearing on the rating I gave it. Th...

Quirky Shauna rated it ★★★★☆

September 16, 2017

“Pediatric intensive-care nurses are a special breed. Not everyone can face heart-rending anxiety and distress at work every day.” I enjoyed this medical memoir by heart surgeon Stephen Westaby. It is not for the faint hearted; he thoroughly describes the nuances of heart surgery – cutting, bleedi...

Hallie rated it ★★★★☆

August 15, 2017

I'd read Walk on Water years ago and questioned whether I needed to read another non-fiction of memorable cardiac surgery cases. This did not disappoint. More than anything, I was struck by how the writing brings home that even though doctors may seem aloof at times, sometimes it's for their own...

Warren rated it ★★★★☆

June 21, 2017

So now done with the back history onto the book review.  Westaby comes across somewhat cocky.  But through his writing it made sense.  He wasn't as much cocky as someone who pushed to make a change in people's lives.  "Cardiac Surgery is like quicksand - once in it, you were sucked deeper and dee...

Amanda rated it ★★★★☆

May 12, 2017

I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. As always, an honest review. Stephen Westaby is a very talented cardiac surgeon who is clearly passionate about his career field. The beginning of the book had a bit of a strange vibe that I couldn't quite figure out. He seemed almost arro...

Danielle rated it ★★★☆☆

August 23, 2017

Disclaimer: I received a free Advance Uncorrected Proof of this book. It had me hooked: the real life stories of people who suffer heart injury be it by illness, birth defect or accident. The author addressed quality of life issues, as well as innovative scientific/medical procedures to save lives...

Helen rated it ★★★★★

July 07, 2017

4.5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed Stephen Westaby’s memoir Open Heart, A Cardiac Surgeon’s Story of Life and Death on the Operating Table. This book is a collection of stories about his patients who he helped over the years with cardiac surgery. He was a pioneer in the use of the left ventricular as...

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