Megan Harlan
October 25, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Emergency Room: Lives Saved and Lost: Doctors Tell Their Stories

Current Status
In Season
Little, Brown and Company
Nonfiction, Science and Technology

We gave it an B-

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that Emergency Room: Lives Saved and Lost: Doctors Tell Their Stories, a collection of 31 real-life stories — all written by doctors who work in the emergency room and edited by Dan Sachs, M.D. — is geared to the fans of hospital dramas like ER and Chicago Hope. Adrenaline-rush addicts won’t be disappointed by the life-and-death traumas cataloged here (like the mechanic with a metal rod through his neck), or by the too-ironic-for-fiction tales (like the one about the rapist, severely bitten by his elderly victim, who shows up at the same ER where she’s being treated). The real stars here aren’t the patients, but the doctors — and boy, do they know it. Luckily, for every ego-driven, melodramatic piece there are eloquent, engrossing ones by such talented writers as Susan Mates, Ethan Canin, and Perri Klass. B-

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