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Burn Unit: Saving Lives After the Flames
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Burn Unit: Saving Lives After the Flames

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  124 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
“A compelling blend of science, history and storytelling. Barbara Ravage has fashioned an enlightening, invaluable book.” —Stewart O’Nan, author of The Circus Fire: A True Story of an American TragedyThough each of us is just a spark away from being a burn victim, the public knows little and understands less about the world that patients inhabit. Pulling the curtains back ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 4th 2005 by Da Capo Press (first published 2004)
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Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My first five-star book of 2015! I was a little worried about picking up a long, dense, science non-fiction book after so much young adult reading the past week or so. But this book was fantastic. I found it at Powell’s in the health and medical section and I’m just so glad I did.

Ms. Ravage does a really excellent job of describing what really goes on when someone is burned. I imagine that when most of us think about a burn injury, we picture a sunburn, or a blister on an arm that bumped up agai
Michael Connolly
About the Author: Barbara Ravage is a freelance science and health writer and editor living in Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Barnard College in New York City. She has also written biographies and books on nutrition.

Overview: Most of this book is about the burn unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Starting in 2002, the author spent eighteen months there gathering information. She also describes some fires that lead to the burns, but I left the fires themselves out of my summary
Rachel Flora
Did not finish.
Nov 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I acquired this book after reading Daniel J. Brown's Under a Flaming Sky: The Gredat Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 (also reviewed on this site), because he referred to Burn Unit in his discussion of the way fire wounds and kills. (My literary co-conspirators and I are working on a science-fiction novel about the Great Los Angeles Firestorm of 2022, and Under a Flaming Sky, Firestorm at Peshtigo, and Burn Unit are three of the resources we've been mining for ideas for our novel.) At any rate, Burn U ...more
Dec 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Really informative. Its an aspect of medicine that I was not familiar with, so it was interesting to learn the day in day out routine of a burn unit. It definitely made me more interested in exploring that field of medicine.

My only gripe is that the author has a hard time choosing an audience to write to. At some points she over-simplifies things for a lay-reader but then others she gets into really intricate technical topics. For example, she goes into detail about the different types of artif
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The treatment of burn victims and their caretakers holds a unique place in medicine and surgery. It is a subspecialty that few chose to pursue but for those who do, it is a tight-knit community that draws strength from each other while caring for some of the most horrific of injuries. Author Ravage does an amazing job of discussing the history of burn care while interweaving the stories of two patients and their individual treatments and recoveries. The world of burns is not well known by the la ...more
Ever since Prometheus ignited the first flame, fire has had the power to both help and harm humankind as no other force can do.

The burn unit strikes fear and revulsion in people, with good reason. We are taught to fear fire and its fatal and disfiguring effects from a young age. Barbara Ravage spent time in a burn unit following the brave men and women recovering from burns, their families, and the dedicated medical staff that care for those that have been burned. She shows the full scope of t
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
When my nephew and his wife were badly burned in a plane crash in August, in the midst of tears and prayers, I found myself with far more questions than answers. Up to this point, I have known no one who was a major burn victim. And somehow I couldn't see pestering all the loved ones on the front line with my gazillions of questions, when they had far greater demands on their time and thoughts and hearts.

So I reverted to habit and sought out books on the topic. Burn Unit was by far the most read
Mar 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read this book prior to interviewing for a job on this unit. While some the facts are skewed, it is a terrific insight into the workings of this unit, the patients and families they deal with and the staff. The book also showcases the history unique to this hospital and the Cocoanut Grove and Station nightclub fires, and the advances made in burn care between and since these two deadly fires.
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
started 01/30/10. (oooh, they updated this so I can add it without have to type it here! Groovy!)

OK, so we've pretty much established I'll read books on any medical topic. I have friends who once worked in the Burn Unit at our hospital, so I thought this would be an interesting read.

I was right! I learned alot about the pathophysiology of burns and how they are treated.
Oct 17, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a tough read. It took me a while to get through it but it was fascinating. I had just finished reading a bio of an acquaintance at my gym who is a burn survivor. Her perspective was from the patient's side and this book was from the medical side. I always knew the burn unit was one of the most difficult but special places to work in a hospital. Now it's clear why.
Melissa Beggs
Jan 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in hopes that it would help emotionally prepare me for my job. It pretty much just confirmed the terror I feel. If anyone wants a glimpse into what my life is going to be like for the next 2 years, read this book!
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very informative. I am in Nursing School and had to do a research paper on what kind of nursing I wanted to do. I would like to be a Burn Unit nurse and so I read this book as part of my research.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Entertaining, educational and a lesson in the simple power of well-written prose.
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
very technical and medically-oriented, not as much for the lay person as i thought but still very moving and with great stories
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