CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Nov 22 2013, $10.95
The support staff prepares patient Mr. Rakovic for a routine arthroscopy of his right knee by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Sanders. However, anesthesiologist Dr. Mike Carlucci panics when his patient suddenly suffers from a potentially lethal V-tach, something he never encountered in his six years at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital. He and others in the operating room frantically try to save Mr. Rakovic’s life. With tears, Mike informs Mr. Rakovic’s sobbing wife that her husband died from a massive heart attack.
Keystone Anesthesia provides the hospital with its professional anesthesia staff; who recently begun to doubt their competency as several other egregious errors by anesthesiologists occurred. Filled with remorse and wondering whether they are the cause of these terrible mistakes, these dedicated employees also fear downsizing due to a merger with nearby General and a potential hostile takeover of their work by rival Pinnacle Anesthesia. Increasingly Carlucci and his BFF Dr. Doug Landry wonder if a cold-blooded maniac wants to destroy the reputation of the anesthesiologists regardless of the cost to innocent patients.
Using surgery that seems authentic (though my credentials are on the receiving end), this superb medical thriller showcases the criticality of anesthesiologists beyond just administering pain relief. The opening Rakovic case, another involving a woman who feels the excruciating scalpel but unable to tell anyone and several others come across very frightening. Though the final confrontation is over the top of Mount Davis, readers will feel an Adrenaline surge throughout Dr. John Benedict’s twisting and at times shocking hospital suspense; while also looking forward to the sequel (see The Edge of Death).