Book: 5 Days At Memorial
Author: Sheri Fink
This is my 21st read for the year
This non-fiction novel covers the tragedy that struck New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Memorial Hospital ran out of power but still had over 100 patients stuck at the hospital in the days following the hurricane. The author reconstructs those 5 days at that hospital and what the doctors and nurses did to try and get their patients - and themselves - to safety. She covers the doctor's choices to leave some of the sickest patients to be evacuated last and how that lead to the death of many people. Some of those deaths were called into question and a doctor and two nurses are arrested for potential homicide. The author reconstructs what went down but leaves the reader to decide for themselves if the staff was innocent or guilty.
This was a prety good book. The author does a good job of constructing the scene probably spending 100s of hours of interviewing and reviewing paperwork from the staff and the trial to construct the story. It does get a bit bogged down with over detail in some cases - especially of stories outside of Memorial. I know what she is trying to do - to connect the dots of how other hospitals handle disasters, or even rules and laws that are in place in other places, but that distracted from the general theme of this story for me. It did not help the flow.
Overall - a good story. I am still on the fence about what happened there and if it was homicide or not. However - I would never want to be in the shoes of that staff that had to make that decision.
Stars: 3 1/2
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