A suspenseful, authoritative account of how the battle against a mid-century polio epidemic sparked a revolution in medical care. In The Autumn Ghost, Dr. Hannah Wunsch traces the origins of two innovations (ICUs and mechanical ventilation) back to a polio epidemic in the autumn of 1952. This vivid, gripping tale of an epidemic that changed the world includes a riveting section on the Danish doctors who used their freedom of movement to admit Jewish patients into the hospital with bland diagnoses and smuggle them out to safety, often to Sweden. These doctors bravely subverted Nazi control to save 7,220 Jews — and their daring and innovative thinking while working under scarcity came into play seven years later when Denmark was hit with a polio epidemic. This is an “origin story” that the author, herself Jewish, likens to Marvel Comics: There are the origin stories for Captain America and Iron Man, and there’s the origin story for “mechanical students” (ventilators) and intensive care. The Autumn Ghost tells the origin story of the heroes of the ICU. It also includes the story of FDR and disability accessibility that he helped pioneer.
The Autumn Ghost: How the Battle Against a Polio Epidemic Revolutionized Modern Medical Care
- From the Publisher
September 1, 2021
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