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Fatal Sequence: The Killer Within

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
The human body is capable of killing itself for little apparent reason, and it happens often enough to rank as the third most common cause of death in the United States today. Kevin Tracey, a neurosurgeon, immunologist, and highly regarded scientist, offers in Fatal Sequence an easily understandable account of the medical and scientific "perfect storm" that is severe sepsi ...more
Hardcover, 238 pages
Published March 15th 2005 by Dana Press
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Richard Conrath
This is a book that on the face would seem to appeal mostly to physicians--and maybe that was the author's intent. But--in reality--it was a shocking look at the dangers of infection--don't we hear about that all the time? And specifically those that we catch in the very place we go for a cure: the hospital! Scary but a good read.
Feb 28, 2017 Rita rated it really liked it
A book on severe sepsis sounds like it would be a fairly dry read. And so what a surprise to find that this book is actually a touching account of this illness, illustrated by the battle fought by an 11-month old who develops it after having been burned on over 75% of her body. The first two-thirds of the story are a beautifully written ode to the struggles of this little girl - I cried, sobs and all - detailing the effects of a burn on the human body, as well as the development of and treatment ...more
Mar 31, 2013 Misha rated it really liked it
The subject of the book by Kevin Tracey is fascinating: severe sepsis
and septic shock are seldom mentioned yet the death rates of these
conditions are staggering: 30-70% and 20-35% respectively. Sepsis is
the second leading cause of death in non-coronary intensive care unit

Tracey starts the book's story with a case of an infant burn victim
who suffers first from septic shock then from severe sepsis. The
struggles of this patient became the motivation for author's later
research and the refra
Nov 28, 2009 Candace rated it it was amazing
This is a fascinating book. It begins with the case history of a little girl who was accidentally burned, and then details the author's work to try to understand exactly what had happened to the little girl and why. As someone with autoinflammatory conditions, I found it absolutely fascinating. Very well-written and very accessible.

If you're interested in this subject, you might find a related blog post of interest: Do allergies really explain anaphylaxis?
Feb 17, 2009 Selena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really held my interest since I lost a child to sepsis. It gave me a better understanding of what sepsis is. The author does a great job of explaining things at a lay person's level throughout most of the book, but towards the end when he was discussing research, I had to read things a couple of times to understand- and I have a beginning understanding of medical terminology. I do recommend this book to anyone that wants more information on sepsis.
Susan Ozment
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Shelves: favorites
Love this story and what it has taught me. I constantly refer to it if I need to compare / contrast severe sepsis and acute septic shock.

Thank you Dr. Tracey for sharing this story- Because of your experience with Janice, I have taught my children when they grow up to never carry boiling water in the kitchen without ensuring a child is not near (in case the water spills).
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