Waking Up Safer?

Waking Up Safer?

An Anesthesiologist's Record

Berend Mets


An insightful record charting the history of American anesthesia.

  • ISBN 9781781327494
  • Published Apr 2018
  • Paperback
    210 x 148mm (270 pages)


Finalist in the 2019 Indie Book Awards (Autobiography and Biography)

Six general anesthetics! Yes six! That is the astonishing number of anesthetics the average American will experience in a lifetime. Yet most people are blissfully unaware of its consequences – lulled into a false sense of security – believing that sleep rather than chemically-induced coma is the outcome.

Inherently dangerous, anesthesia has matured into an essentially safe practice. It was not always so. Nor in every instance – things can still go terribly wrong.

Before the advent of general anesthesia in 1846, very few surgeries were performed. When done at all, operations were limited in scope, and often as a last resort – with death as a common outcome. Since then, the evolution of anesthetic practice has allowed increasingly complex surgery to be performed on ever-sicker patients.

This anesthesiologist’s record tells the story. Drawing on personal experience, while tracing historical and scientific developments, Dr. Berend Mets chronicles the stories of innumerable notable individuals such as Drs. William Morton, Virginia Apgar and Christiaan Barnard in the past, and Drs. Archie Brain, Atul Gawande and Mehmet Oz in the present, illustrating the practice of anesthesiology along the way.

Tapping parallels with aviation to reveal how anesthesia has been engineered to become ever-safer, this book will not put you to sleep. Rather it will wake you up! Wake you up to the magic and mystery of anesthesia and its consequences.

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