Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart [NOOK Book]


More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA
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Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart

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More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Each year, thousands of heart transplants are performed successfully in the United States and abroad. This almost routine medical procedure was once thought impossible; only years of intense research by four superb surgeons made the leap into a new cardiac age possible. Every Second Counts traces the story of the race to transplant the first human heart in its most human dimensions. A medical thriller that puts TV doctors to shame.
Publishers Weekly
Although Christiaan Barnard (who died in 2001) is venerated as the first to successfully transplant a human heart, on December 3, 1967, McRae shows that he was only one of four heart surgeons who pioneered this miraculous specialty from 1958 through 1968. The South African Barnard hadn't toiled in research labs, but, according to McRae, appropriated the work of three Americans and, in a period of debate over whether to define death by the brain's or the heart's cessation, he took a beating heart from a brain-dead donor. McRae portrays Barnard as a rural Afrikaner with an inferiority complex, a "lothario" with a deeply troubled personal life and a publicity hound who delegated postoperative patient care to others as he hobnobbed with celebrities and the media. As McRae, an award-winning London-based sports writer (Heroes Without a Country: America's Betrayal of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens), demonstrates in this top-notch journalistic feat that elucidates complicated medical procedures, the Americans whom Barnard bested were medical giants. Norman Shumway in California and Richard Lower of Virginia were masters of transplant and rejection research, and New York's Adrian Kantrowitz would eventually develop the balloon pump that saved hundreds of thousands of lives. (June 1) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
South African surgeon Christian Barnard may have performed the first heart transplant, but three other surgeons at the time were ready and waiting to do the same. Here's their story. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When the South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant in 1967, his success dashed the hopes of three American cardiac surgeons. Adrian Kantrowitz, Richard Lower and Norman Shumway were also on the brink of accomplishing that feat. McRae, a South African writer now living in London, interviewed Barnard's brother Marius and other surviving members of Barnard's family, the rival American surgeons and the doctors and nurses who worked with them, to create an often dramatic account of the competition. He recounts the years of research on animals, the development of techniques for transplanting other organs and the beginnings of open-heart surgery-all American advances that made it seem likely that an American would be the first to transplant a human heart. Finding the right donor and the right recipient is not a simple matter, with race complicating it in apartheid South Africa, and the controversy surrounding brain death creating problems in the U.S. As luck would have it, the necessary factors came together first for the upstart Barnard, who is depicted here as a surgical hustler, a womanizer, a morally frail man who sadly succumbed to the seductions of fame and was ruined by them. McRae captures the personalities of the surgeons, their ambitions, their drive, their collegiality (or lack thereof) and their pride and resentments, and he depicts graphic and tense operating room scenes, with doctors winning some battles and losing others. One, Lower, was even put on trial for murder before brain death was formalized in the U.S. as a medical and legal concept. While the outcome is known from the beginning, the author's account of the experiments andresearch that preceded it and his focus on the participants make for a dramatic read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781440628870
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/7/2007
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 737,154
  • File size: 446 KB

Meet the Author

Donald McRae is the only writer to have won Britain's William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award twice, for Heroes Without a Country: America's Betrayal of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens and Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing. He lives near London with his family.

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Table of Contents

Prologue : into the void... 1
1 On the brink 13
2 Out of the cold 27
3 Colored hearts 42
4 Sparky's gang 64
5 Heads and hearts 85
6 Changing tack 102
7 Mississippi gambling 120
8 The prince 137
9 The steal 153
10 The wait 173
11 Fame and heartbreak 197
12 The man with the golden hands 215
13 Death and America 232
14 The trial 253
Epilogue : acceptance 282
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