Counting Backwards: A Doctor's Notes on Anesthesia
Publish Date: 2017-11-14
Author: Henry Jay Przybylo MD
A moving exploration of the most common but most mysterious procedure in medicine.
For many of the 40 million Americans who undergo anesthesia each year, it is the source of great fear and fascination. From the famous first demonstration of anesthesia in the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital in 1846 to todays routine procedure that controls anxiety, memory formation, pain relief, and more, anesthesia has come a long way. But it remains one of the most extraordinary, unexplored corners of the medical world.
In Counting Backwards, Dr. Henry Jay Przybyloa pediatric anesthesiologist with more than thirty years of experiencedelivers an unforgettable account of the procedures daily dramas and fundamental mysteries. Przybylo has administered anesthesia more than 30,000 times in his careererasing consciousness, denying memory, and immobilizing the body, and then reversing all of these effectson newborn babies, screaming toddlers, sullen teenagers, even a gorilla. With compassion and candor, he weaves his experiences into an intimate exploration of the nature of consciousness, the politics of pain relief, and the wonder of modern medicine.
Filled with intensity and humanity, with moments of near-disaster, life-saving success, and simple grace, Counting Backwards is for anyone curious about what happens after we lose consciousness.