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Cheating Death
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta

     The new book Cheating Death - written and read by CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta - is amazing, and at times shocking. Bringing to light instances where patients - who were clinically dead and brought back to life by doctors who refused to believe what the
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heart monitors showed - the book highlights medical personnel wouldn't give up and were willing to try experimental procedures that saved a life.
     Dr. Gupta states, "We're use to thinking of dying in stark terms. Dead or alive; you're here, and then you're gone." He notes that the process of death is much more intricate and methodic - literally starting from the top, the brain, to the bottom, organ failure.
     Giving us a glimpse into his life, Dr. Gupta tells of the first time he witnessed this process as a third year medical student at the University of Michigan.  Since that time, he has wondered if there was a way to give a person, in the process of dying, just a little more time, a way to "…shift the line between life and death."
     Being honest and blunt, Dr. Gupta relates that there is no such thing as immediate death - being killed instantly - and that death is not a single event. When the heart stops beating, it's not the end; death is a process that may be interrupted - and sometimes even reversed.  He notes that there is the possibility of cheating death, and that our bodies can "modify" in order to survive.
      From using hypothermia as a way to save heart attack victims, and exploring the world around us for examples of how other species survive in extreme and harsh environments, it's explained that we are getting closer and closer to actually cheating death.  At times, Dr. Gupta's stories seem like they belong in science fiction books.  But as we look at the world around us, it is indeed shifting to that very realm.
     As hard as it is to believe, we witness it on a daily basis. The HemCon Bandage can stop arterial bleeding and is being used for head and neck wound trauma, car accidents and even gun shot wounds. Researchers and scientists are closer to developing a vaccine to hinder HIV.  Hodgkins Disease, a cancer that once was a death sentence, can now be cured in 90% of those diagnosed - even those in Stage 4 of the disease.
     Pleasantly surprised and at times captivated, Dr. Gupta brought me into his world and held my attention. Cheating Death is a must have, in audiobook, Kindle, e-book, hardback or paperback - however you get it, it is a must read for anyone in medical school, those who ail from debilitating diseases, or those of you who want to know just how far medicine has come in the past 20 years.  And how you and your doctors can sometime actually cheat death.    

Nick Manix is a professional writer and journalist who splits his time between Central Texas and New Orleans.

(Cover image courtesy Amazon.com)