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Critical

Science and Stories from the Brink of Human Life
Narrated by: Dr Matt Morgan
Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Medicine
5 out of 5 stars (66 ratings)

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Summary

Following in the wake of hugely successful medical memoirs such as Do No Harm and Fragile Lives, Critical is an intelligent, compelling and profoundly insightful journey into the world of intensive care medicine and the lives of people who have forever been changed by it. 

Being critically ill means one or more of your vital organs have failed - this could be your lungs, your heart, your kidneys, your gut or even your brain. Starting with the first recognised case in which a little girl was saved by intensive care in 1952 in Copenhagen, Matt writes brilliantly about the fascinating history, practices and technology in this newest of all the major medical specialties. Matt guides us around the ICU by guiding us around the body and the different organs, and in this way, we learn not only the stories of many of the patients he’s treated over the years but also about the various functions different parts of the body. 

He draws on his time spent with real patients, on the brink of death, and explains how he and his colleagues fight against the odds to help them live. Happily many of his cases have happy endings, but Matt also writes movingly about those cases which will always remain with him - the cases where the mysteries of the body proved too hard to solve, or diagnoses came too late or made no difference to the outcome.

©2019 Dr Matt Morgan (P)2019 Simon & Schuster UK

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A Masterpiece

Dr Matt Morgan has produced a wonderful wonderful book. Listening to him tell me these stories has been very special.

As he narrates these accounts his sincerity humanity and humility is obvious.

Thank you Dr Matt, primarily for doing your job, with such skill and care but I also thank you for giving us a window Into the world of ICU.

ICU can seem cold, clinical, jammed full of complex kit, I remember spending 2 weeks in one with my father. Your book reminds me of how I felt during that time. All the machines are really only props, albeit very important props. At heart of these places are people, the staff, the patients and their loved ones.

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Makes me proud to work in ITU

From a critical care nurse with over 20years experience I loved this book.
Honest, sincere and easy to understand. Reflects so much of what we all feel.
We are privileged to work in Critical care and be part of such amazing teams and touch peoples lives when they are most vulnerable.

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Great book from an exemplary bloke

I found every chapter fascinating and rewarding. A masterful work which somehow weaves the science detail into a sequence of enthralling diagnosis & treatment detective stories. This is a life enhancing read for both sides of the patient/medical profession divide.

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story was ok but something's missing .

the narrator didn't make me feel engaged with this story at all. his voice was drab and monotone which made me switch off quite a bit. if the narrator could make the story come to life, then the book would have been enjoyable and I could empathise with the patients and doctor himself.

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educational and thought provoking

what an amazing person Matt Morgan is he has written a very exciting and educational book read with true empathy about real situations in his critical care career. he emphasizes how precious and fragile human life is, definitely worth a listen.

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Humbling

what an excellent read. I was captivated from the moment I first heard his voice. We are all guilty of taking medical staff for granted without a thought for what they have to endure. I finished this book coming away feeling very humbled. An absolute gem of a book.

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Moving

This is a book of great insight, from the heart. I was moved and in some ways challenged about my own lifestyle

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A beautifully poignant read about life, death and the role of the intensive care unit

Dr Matt Morgan’s Critical is a fantastic addition to the medical memoir genre expertly weaving through the different organ systems in the body and how, in the clutches of death, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals work to support these organs in order to sustain life. Further to this Dr Morgan talks eloquently about cases from his career as both a junior doctor and a consultant in intensive care with touching details about the families and loved ones of the patients he treats.

Critical is a must read for anyone interested in medicine or for anyone who has ever wondered what happens inside the intensive care unit. The performance is very listenable and I finished the book wanting more. An excellent debut - highly recommended.