Mar 26, 2023
The National Health Service (NHS) stands as a testament to the unwavering dedication of its healthcare professionals, and at the core of this vital system lies the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). These specialised units play an indispensable role in the treatment and recovery of the most critically ill patients.
One who has made an indelible mark in the field is Dr. Jim Down, a consultant in critical care and anaesthesia currently at at University College London Hospitals. With a career spanning over 25 years, Dr. Down shares some of his experiences, challenges, and victories in his recently published memoirs. Today, we have the privilege of interviewing him and gaining firsthand insights into the gripping and inspiring world of the ICU and challenges faced by the NHS.
About the guest
Dr Jim Down is a consultant in critical care
and anaesthesia at University College London Hospitals. He chairs
the ICU consultants' group, the department of anaesthesia weekly
scientific meetings, and the UCLH Trust guideline committee. During
the Covid-19 pandemic he worked on UCLH's busy ICU ward, and was
interviewed by the BBC for a groundbreaking report depicting medics
on the frontline. His account of that period, Life
Support, was published in 2021.
He has now written a book which brings us to the very heart of the intensive care unit - the section of the hospital where the sickest patients are brought to be cared for until their condition improves. With honesty, humility and a streak of dark humour, Dr Down describes the quietly heroic work of doctors and nurses on the ICU, a place which sits at the cutting edge of medical technology and where a split-second decision can make the difference between life and death.
From headline-grabbing cases like that of Alexander Litvinenko, poisoned by Russian agents and admitted to Down's ward, to the appalling aftermath of a train crash, Life in the Balance offers an inside glimpse of intensive care medicine, its immense challenges, deleterious effects on doctors' mental health and enormous rewards. Its profundity will make you reconsider the fragility of life and reframe your understanding of what it means to care.
(Source: Penguin Books)
ABOUT THE HOST
Oz Khan is a strategist, passionate about personal development, coach and general all round business person. You can find more on his linkedin profile.