Gawande Paper

Gawande Paper - Kevin McDermott 3/07/08 HIS 368 Professor...

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Kevin McDermott 3/07/08 HIS 368 Professor Kay Atul Gawande Paper Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande was my favorite read this year and certainly the best book about hospital life that I have read. Whether it is finding out that a patient almost lost his life not because of his injuries, but because his doctor did not wash his hands before surgery or simply if a person should have a chaperone with them during check-up’s, I did not know what to expect. One of Gawande’s biggest concerns was the lack of diligence in hospitals. Gawande defines diligence as “the constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken”. The first story in the book, On Washing Hands , is probably my favorite in the book because of how such a simple thing as to wash your hands is such a problem in hospitals. Back in 1847 the maternal death rate was 20%, a ridiculous one in five mothers died from giving birth. Ignac Semmelweis demanded that his doctors and nurses wash their hands after each patient and the death rate immediately dropped to 1%. Many doctors ignored Semmelweis’ and some felt offended by the claim. I believe that washing
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Gawande Paper - Kevin McDermott 3/07/08 HIS 368 Professor...

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