Jean's Reviews > Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri  Fink
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really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction

Tough book to read, at least the first part. This is the true story of what happened at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, during Hurricane Katrina. The first part of the story focuses on the events, told through several doctors and nurses who were in charge and who were interviewed by the author.
The second part tells focuses on the investigation and grand jury of Doctor Anna Pou, one of the doctors working at the hospital, who was charged with killing patients (euthanizing them) in one section of the hospital.
The first section was difficult to read because of the terror and awfulness of what went on during those 5 days - no power, no rescue. Area residents had to be turned away, while hospital staff cared for their animals at the hospital. Who lived? Who died? Why? There were some selfless people, and some selfish ones, just as in any crisis.
Since this is true, there are no spoilers; you can read about the story online in several places. Fink tells the story well, and makes you feel for the people involved, doctors, nurses, staff, patients.

Fink has some discussion about the question of what happens at a hospital during an emergency situation, but no answers. I don't think anyone does. I will say those doctors and nurses were working almost around the clock, with little sleep, in the dark, in terrible conditions. Who are any of us to say what we would have done in those circumstances?
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 1, 2013 – Finished Reading
November 21, 2013 – Shelved

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