Thursday, October 3, 2013

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink - Book Review

BookFive Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
AuthorSheri Fink
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher/Publish DateCrown / September 10, 2013
SourceARC courtesy of publisher, NetGalley
Pages: 560
Rating: 4.5/5
GoodReads  •  Amazon

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, but it in no way effects my review of the book.

This is a dark and upsetting book about the events that took place at New Orlean's Memorial Hospital during and after Hurricane Katrina. The doctor's and staff had to make tough decisions in a stressful situation which I think none of us can really understand.

Located in the downtown area, the hospital's buildings were not effected much by the hurricane, but the resulting floods lead to power outages and flooded some of the generators. The staff felt abandoned by the city and state government and wasn't getting a fast response from their parent company. This left them in a city that was supposedly under marshal law, trying to make the best decision for their patients as well as themselves. They had no clue how long it would take to get evacuated, what was happening outside of the four walls of the hospital, and how safe they were in the building. There was little sense of who was in charge and decisions had to be made on the fly.

This book is packed with information and Fink did an amazing job of interviewing and weaving together what happened during those five days after the hurricane. While we may never have answers to some of the larger questions of why certain decisions were made, this book doesn't take sides.

Not knowing a ton of what happened during Katrina, I found this very fascinating and eye opening. It's a compelling story, and one that I am glad is now being told in detail.

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