Newsday science and medical reporter Colen ( The Essential Gide to a Living Will ) here records in palpable fashion what goes on during a typical 24-hour period in an operating room which he monitored for six weeks at a teaching hospital on New York's Long Island. He makes readers marvel at the surgeons' split-second decisions, almost artistic skill, mastery of technology and teamwork in his eyewitness of open heart surgery and facial reconstruction of babies, among other procedures. As a head nurse affirms, not only is O.R. ``the unknown place'' to all but those who work there, it also calls for nurses to act as the patients' ``advocates'' during their operations. BOMC selection. (Apr.)
As observed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Colen ( Karen Ann Quinlan , LJ 11/1/76; Born at Risk , LJ 3/1/81), this book tells ``what really happens to patients when they have an operation . . . what surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and the various members of the operating room support staff do when they go to work each day.'' It focuses on the main operating room of the North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York, where Colen was freely granted access to the hospital's 16 operating rooms and allowed to observe any procedure, ask any question, and record any event or conversation. The result is ``an album of snapshots that together form a mosaic of life in the operating room'' over a 24-hour period. This absorbing, fast-paced, and well-written BOMC selection is recommended for all popular medical collections.-- James Swanton, Albert Einstein Coll. of Medicine, New York
The operating room of the title is in North Shore University Hospital on Long Island. Colen, who spent six weeks there gathering materials, juggles a group of cases, each consisting of several parts. One of the major cases is that of Lillian, 53 and afflicted with a laryngeal tumor, who knows that she will lose her normal voice even if an operation does cure her. Another concerns Andre, a teenage car-crash victim who must have neurosurgical treatment. A third is that of three-month-old Rashid, who has a disfiguring cleft palate. The chief of nursing, Diana Potenza, comes close to being Colen's leading character, and in between his graphic accounts of actual operations are chapters and sections on relationships between doctors and nurses that make particularly interesting reading. Further, Colen also explores the financial, educational, and administrative elements impinging upon the OR; and acutely perceived details, such as noting the anesthesiologist who no longer tells his patients he will "put them to sleep" because of what this term means to pet owners, add the human touch.