Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
(Crown, 2013, 558 pages)
This nonfiction title won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013 by the New York Times Book Review. Five Days at Memorial had been something I’d wanted to read for a long time. I’d had the book galley for years and finally found the time to pick it up. Five Days at Memorial takes a look back at 5 days at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
The circumstances faced by those who remained in the hospital during Katrina were intense and horrifying to say the least. Hospital workers and patients were put in situations it’s hard to wrap your mind around. Decisions had to be made about which patients to evacuate first and then it came down to how to treat those who remained and still needed care and medication. A number of the medical professionals who stayed behind later faced criminal charges for deciding to drug some patients to such an extent that it led to their deaths.
It’s still hard to believe how bad things were during Katrina; it’s hard to believe situations like those recounted could happen here in the United States. Even though it was difficult reading about the situations people at Memorial faced I was engrossed in the book. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it. And we have it in the library so you can come right in and pick it up!