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Orm of health care rationingIn a voice at once involving and fair masterful and intimate Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end of life care and reveals just how ill prepared we are in America for the impact of large scale disasters and how we can do better A remarkable book engrossing from start to finish Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis. Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans did not have the resources to adeuately care for patients following the flooding and power loss caused by Hurricane Katrina In addition evacuations were slow and difficult and people feared potential violence from looters and desperate citizens Memorial Medical Center was surrounded by water after Hurricane KatrinaA nurse fans patients awaiting evacuation in the Memorial Hospital car park after Hurricane Katrina Some patients were evacuated from Memorial Hospital by boatAfter a few days the air conditioning failed and temperatures soared toilet facilities were inadeuate and the building reeked halls and stairways were dark and the staff was sleep deprived and exhausted In short conditions were unbearable Conditions inside Memorial Hospital became unbearableIn this book Sheri Fink describes the difficult decisions of several healthcare professionals to over medicate euthanize a number of patients who they believed would not make it out in time Afterwards state authorities initiated a murder investigation with plans to prosecute Dr Anna Pou and two nurses Sheri Landry and Lori Budo who allegedly administered the fatal injectionsNurse Sheri LandryNurse Lori BudoThere's plenty of blame to go around for the calamity at Memorial including the hospital's inadeuate preparation for disaster poor government planning and response chaos and violence in the streets and the foibles of human natureThe families of the deceased were angry and wanted justice but many people were outraged at the charges leveled against the women and accused Charles Foti the Attorney General of Louisiana of attempting to further his own career at the expense of the healthcare professionals Charles Foti Attorney General of LouisianaSheri Fink does a masterful job of describing the situation at Memorial during the crisis and the legal maneuverings of all parties prosecution and defense afterwards It's hard to say I enjoyed the book since the subject matter was so depressing and horrific but it was a compelling read Highly recommendedAuthor Sheri Fink You can follow my reviews at

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Five Days at MemorialIn the tradition of the best investigative journalism physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life Five Days Epubamid chaosAfter Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose the power failed and the heat climbed exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patient. I am from the New Orleans area and was one of the many thousands who evacuated for Hurricane Katrina I was also one of the large population of locals who were offended and dismayed when then Attorney General Charles Foti arrested a doctor and two nurses who had been at the flooded Memorial hospital during the disaster Public opinion at the time was suarely behind the hospital staff largely because we thought that the opportunistic former sheriff was blaming the very people who saved so many lives of not being even heroic This was my opinion and that of everyone I talked to until I read the ProPublica article about conditions at Memorial published in 2009 That article convinced me that perhaps something very unsavory had happened at the hospital during the disasterAnd so it was with great interest that I read the reporter's thorough examination of those days in this book This book deserves a Pulitzer; it is an unbiased well balanced and extremely thorough examination of the events at Memorial and the conseuences of those events I also have a PhD in philosophy and so I was hoping to see a studied examination of the ethical issues surrounding the events and I was not disappointed Ms Fink clearly and accurately explained some of the most basic principles of ethics and how they were or were not applied in this case The overall impression that I had of the medical professionals at Memorial was that they were so over taxed over worked and under prepared that they were not in a position to make truly rational choices about their sickest patients To prevent this kind of tragedy in the future our institutions must determine ahead of time how they will react in a disaster and the people in those institutions need to cling to their moral principles rather than abandon them in such a moment of crisis The contrast of Memorial hospital with Charity hospital is most striking in this regard Both hospitals were stranded in flood waters and lost power But at Charity they were prepared and had practiced for just such an event They evacuated the sickest patients first not last and they didn't give any patients lethal injections Three people died at Charity compared with forty five deaths at Memorial many of those in the last few hours even as helicopters were arriving en masse to evacuate the hospital Please read this book

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Five Days at Memorial Summary » 107 å ❴Download❵ ✤ Five Days at Memorial Author Sheri Fink – In the tradition of the best investigative journalism physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mighti In tS last for rescue Months later several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths Five Days at Memorial the culmination of six years of reporting unspools the mystery of what happened in those days bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying f. This book is a devastating account of what happened at a hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005 Sheri Fink spent years reporting on this story and her writing is strong filled with grim details and dreadful scenes but it needed to be toldAfter the storm Memorial Medical Center was flooded and lost power stranding a large staff and nearly 200 patients many of whom needed oxygen and ventilators to help them breathe Due to communication breakdowns a lack of emergency preparedness and massive failures from both the hospital's owner and the government rescue operations were slow and stalled leading doctors and nurses to prioritize patients into groups of who would be rescued first or at all Nobody wrote it directly in a message but some employees began to worry that the choice of which patients went out first could affect their medical outcomes A realization dawned on Memorial's incident commander Susan Mulderick that day The variability in the sizes of helicopters that were landing and the length of time it was taking to move patients to the helipad left her with one conclusion not all of the patients would be getting out aliveOn the third day after the hurricane the most critical patients — the ones who staff members didn't think could be evacuated and who had a slim chance of survival — were given drugs that would help ease their pain and also helped them to die Some called it euthanasia others called it a necessary decision during an extreme disasterIn the days since the storm New Orleans had become an irrational and uncivil environment It seemed to Dr Thiele the laws of man and the normal standards of medicine no longer applied He had no time to provide what he considered appropriate end of life care He accepted the premise that the patients could not be moved and the staff had to go He could not justify hanging a morphine drip and praying it didn't run out after everyone left and before the patient died following an interval of acute suffering He could rationalize what he was about to do as merely as abbreviating a normal process of comfort care — cutting corners — but he knew that it was technically a crime The first half of the book provides almost an hour by hour account of what happened leading up to the storm and in the days following its landfall It is a gripping emotional read and the situation is horrifying With no power or running water conditions worsened inside the hospital it was hot and humid the only light came from flashlights and there was an overpowering smell of urine and feces because the sewers were overflowing The staff described it as a hellish war zone and as a place that no longer seemed like America There was also a fear of looters and of violence breaking out amidst the chaos and gunshots were freuently heard outside the hospital Doctors tried to prevent panic from spreading both among the patients and among the staff It was difficult to read this section without freuently pausing to come up for air both out of sympathy for those who suffered and frustration for how the hospital and the city could have been better euipped and preparedThe second half of the book called The Reckoning focuses on the investigation into the patient deaths One doctor and two nurses were eventually arrested but charges were later dropped due to a lack of evidence overwhelming public and political support for the workers and criticism of the lack of preparedness and support from the government The issue of larger responsibility and blame regardless of whether it would be admissible in a court of law was on many people's minds Individual decisions at the hospital had occurred in a context of failures of every sort Since the storm government agencies private organizations and journalists had churned out reports that analyzed and found fault with actions and inaction at nearly every level of every system Fink's epilogue highlights the lessons learned if any from what the hospitals in New Orleans faced after Katrina Fink compares the situation to what happened after the earthuake in Haiti and when Hurricane Sandy hit New York City In both cases health care workers had to make tough choices about who would get access to limited medical resources Fink's reporting is alarming because it addresses the issue of how many hospitals and other medical facilities have their generators in the basement or on the ground floor which can become useless in event of flooding Similarly not enough has been done to plan for emergency situations such as a massive flu outbreak or another natural disaster Life and death in the immediate aftermath of a crisis most often depends on the preparedness performance and decision making of the individuals on the scene It is hard for any of us to know how we would act under such terrible pressureI hope this book inspires some good discussion and decision making about emergency preparedness and the moral dilemmas of triage Who gets priority medical care when resources are limited What else can be done to plan for disasters I would highly recommend the book to health care professionals first responders those interested in bioethics and anyone who appreciates excellent reporting