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Every Second Counts: The Extraordinary Race to Transplant the First Human Heart Paperback – 6 Aug 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; New edition edition (6 Aug. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416510958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416510956
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 0.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 867,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'In this thrilling history of heart transplantation, Donald McRae shows how exciting medical history can be ... Few of the heart transplant pioneers were saints (Lillehei was guilty of tax evasion) but in this gripping book, McRae shows how their flaws also drove their remarkable advances' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 9/7 'In a profession that rewards front, Barnard's cool annexation of this famous first is still a stand-out. His subsequent antics - a couple of 19-year-old wives, a late obsession with anti-ageing treatments that saw him stripped of his membership of the American College of Surgeons - did little for his reputation. McRae has spoken to everyone, and recorded everything, for which he deserves credit. He doesn't judge; but then he doesn't need to. Whatever the backstory, Barnard will always be first' - SUNDAY TIMES 20/8 'It's a thrilling tale and it's told in detail here' Sunday Telegraph 19/8 'McRae paints not only a vivid portrait of the driven and ambitious South African [Dr Christiaan Barnard] but also adeptly explains the medical background to Barnard's triumph' Sunday Times 2/9

About the Author

Donald McRae is the award-winning author of eight books. He is one of only two authors to have won the prestigious William Hill award twice, for Dark Trade and In Black & White. As a journalist he has twice won Sports Interviewer of the Year - as well as winning Sports Feature Writer of the Year. He lives in Hertfordshire.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Transplant surgery is now relatively routine. Heart transplants are carried out on young and old the world over and it's easy to forget the bravery of those involved in the pioneering surgeries of the late 50s and throughout the 1960s. I well remember the drama of the headlines when it was announced that Barnard had carried out the world's first successful human heart transplant. The progress of the first recipient was followed the world over with hope and bated breath.

This account is a detailed and fascinating insight into those years before the first transplant; a medical world of personalities, ethics and technique. Be warned, it's not for the faint hearted. The detail of individual surgeries is occasionally graphic and not for the squeamish. I know that animals are used for medical research but I couldn't read all the accounts involving the way dogs were used in the name of research.

That aside, I was interested to read about medical teams at different ends of the world racing to be the first. The competitiveness, bitterness, antipathy and celebrity status of those involved was a real eye opener. For the lay person, this aspect of medicine is largely unknown and in some ways, that's probably just as well! I was surprised by some of the egos and the real extent of competition. But, in context, those involved were brave, occasionally foolhardy and it's thanks to their vision and belief that some procedures are now routine.

It's a well researched account with some individuals faring better than others in terms of their achievements and reputation. Donald McRae has created a real sense of pace and race in this fascinating record and I learned a great deal.
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Format: Paperback
No one remembers who comes second ....

We all know who won this race - but I had no idea how little Chris Barnard deserved it!

The book is a "page turner" - a cliched description I know - but true. This is not some dry account of those groundbreaking years of the late 50's and 60's. It is a vivid portrayal of the brilliance of those involved, of their fears and their aspirations, and most interestingly of their personalities.
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Format: Paperback
I found this book by complete accident but I was interested to read it, as I work in the area of surgery. Those who work in transplant know the main players in developing heart transplantation but this book give you back story in a fascinating way. I literally had difficulty putting it down! McRae does an excellent job of bringing the human aspect of this story to the fore, not just of the surgeons involved, but of the many brave patients and families who took the journey into the complete unknown. Its a great story and so well written but maybe not for the squeamish!
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Format: Hardcover
Interesting book, which provided a chronological and historical perspective to the race to be the first human heart transplant. I liked the information on the patient involved and the title of the book alluded to the fact that the first successful human transplant was as much a matter of timing as skills, knowledge or expertise.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book about the race to be the first surgeon to transplant a human heart. It provides not only a character background of the different surgeons and their reasons for wanting to be first, but it also provides some thought provoking statistics and heart-breaking medical histories. It is definitely NOT a book for the squeamish however. As someone who has lived with a heart transplant recipient, I found it fascinating and I am still in awe of the skill and audacity of these early surgeons.
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