Five Days at Memorial

Five Days at Memorial

Life and Death in A Storm -ravaged Hospital

eBook - 2013
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a-- In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amid chaos. -- Five Days at Memorial From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: [Place of publication not identified] : Crown, 2013
ISBN: 9780307718983
Characteristics: 1 online resource (576 pages)


From Library Staff


"Fink provides an investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina-- and a suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice."

Shortlisted for the 2014 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

Longlisted for the 2014 PEN Literary Awards, E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

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racing14 Sep 10, 2018

Makes a great book club selection. Extremely thought provoking and will spark lots of discussion. Raises many questions about ethics, extreme situations and who should be accountable.

Feb 19, 2018

First reaction in a disaster is "DO SOMETHING". Sometimes it's hard to get it right. Second guessing is always easier.

Jan 26, 2018

Heavy going at times.

Nov 05, 2017

We expect to be gripped by books of fiction. We expect that they will leave us sitting at the edge of our chair, biting our nails, gripped by suspense. We hav to not expect this same degree of intensity in non-fiction books. But, non the less, there are exceptions. Consider for example this account of what transpired when Hurricane Katrina, the deadliest US hurricane, struck the Louisiana coast on August 29, 2005.
"Five Days at Memorial" is the story of a New Orleans hospital that lay in its destructive path.The hospital’s municipal power supply failed forcing it to rely on backup generation. It too failed after a short period of time leaving hospital without light; without air conditioning; without elevators; without the electricity need to power a myriad of electrical equipment required to keep seriously ill patients alive. Streets were flooded so evacuation by ambulance was out of the question. Evacuation by helicopter was botched and bungled. The evening air was punctuated with the sound of gunfire --- the fear of looters was endemic among the hospitals staff. All of a sudden, an American hospital had been plunged into the third world.There is, of course, much more to the book that. Why was the hospital not better prepared than it was. Had the nurses and doctors been better prepared. Were good decisions made? Of course great effort was made to dish out blame for what had gone wrong that August and September in New Orleans.

ArapahoeStaff15 Aug 03, 2017

What happened to the most vulnerable populations during Hurricane Katrina? Fink offers one answer with this gripping narrative of impossible choices and tragedy at Memorial Hospital. Backed by impressive research and told from multiple perspectives, Fink's book confronts readers with the horrifying reality of a hospital in the midst of a natural disaster.

Apr 06, 2017

A fascinating read from cover to cover, esp if you are in the health care and emergency services profession. Sheri Fink researched this book from all angles: the patient, their family, the healthcare providers, and the administrators. Very well written, not a typical journalist-authored book.
Memorial Hospital spent five days in the wake of Hurricane Katrina without power, flooded and without preparation in place for a large-scale disaster. When rescue finally arrived, 39 of it's end-of-life patients lay dead. Was it palliative care and comfort? Was it euthanasia? A fascinating book about human nature in crisis. Highly recommend.

Jan 28, 2017

From my experience reading this book, it helps to read the last five pages first, to get a better sense of what motived the author. With that purpose in mind, all those dramatic sometimes heart wrenching events depicted will all seem to have more bone and flesh - if not already so. Some important questions, the author is attempting to find the answers for, an invitation to participate, this book, to all of us. It is a milestone.

JCLCaitlinT Oct 20, 2016

I found myself struggling with the moral questions these doctors and nurses faced, and even in my (comparatively) well rested and nourished state, I still don't know what I would have done. The situations depicted in this book continue to haunt me, but in a very humanizing, humbling way.

Aug 04, 2016

Very thick book but is brings the reader into the chaos and fast decision making the situation calls for. The end of life issues are also part of the book that are riveting in them selves.

Jun 21, 2015

Exceedingly long & redundant, but probably necessary to present the views/observations of each person involved. A good primer for disasters, what can happen & discussion about end of life issues. Makes one think of many angles to the event. Reader speaks calmly without imitation of speech, except I take issue with some pronunciations some editor must not have caught. IMO: total collapse by institutions, planning, no preparation in an area prone to this disaster. Exhaustive research & presentation too few will read or heed.

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